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For the 75th anniversary of the End of WWII: Guelph’s contribution. Ellin speaks to the Royal City Men’s Club
October 29, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 11:00 am EDT
When the Canadian troops began cleaning out the remnants of Nazi Germany’s occupation forces across Holland in the spring and summer of 1945, they were met with joyous welcomes by the Dutch people who had endured starvation and brutality under Hitler’s forces. But the Canadians also came face to face with the truth about the fate of Europe’s Jewish community, as they liberated concentration camps and Nazi death camps from the defeated German guards. Journalist and author Ellin Bessner’s book “Double Threat: Canadian Jews, the Military and WWII”, published by the University of Toronto Press, tells the story of the 17,000 Canadians of Jewish faith who served in WWII, helped defeat Hitler, and rescued the survivors of the Holocaust. As the world marks the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII, Bessner will introduce you to some of the Canadians of Jewish faith who were among the liberators.
Guelph and the surrounding area sent several Jewish boys to war, including the son of one of the most prominent families, Sid Acker, RCAF, who was killed in 1942, and after whom the city’s Beth Isaiah Synagogue was named. John Galt from Galt was in the RCAF and was killed during training, while artilleryman Harry Bockner, who was born in Guelph, died at the tail end of the war in April 1945 while liberating Holland.
Books are available for purchase from Chapters, Amazon or your favourite bookseller.
Guests are encouraged to share their stories of family members who served, especially if you yourself are a veteran.