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How Canada’s Jewish fighters helped win the Second World War May 3, 2023 Old Oakville Probus

May 3, 2023 @ 9:00 am 11:00 am EDT

As the world commemorates Holocaust Remembrance Day and the 78th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, Canadian author and journalist Ellin Bessner comes to the Old Oakville Men’s Probus Club Weds. May 3 to share a little-known story of the 17,000 Canadian soldiers of Jewish faith who fought Hitler and rescued the survivors of the Nazi’s Final Solution.

Bessner is the author of “Double Threat”, published by the University of Toronto Press (2019), about the contribution of Canada’s tiny wartime Jewish community to defeating the Nazis. When the prime minister of the day, Mackenzie King, called the Second World War a “double threat” for Canadian Jews, he meant that not only was freedom and democracy at risk but so was the survival of the Jewish race itself.

Bessner has spent years researching and interviewing hundreds of Jewish veterans and their families to piece this untold story together. 

Ellin will introduce you to some of the more famous Canadian Jews in uniform: “Let’s Make a Deal” host Monty Hall, CBC comedians Wayne and Shuster, Ed Mirvish’s brother, Canadian senators David Croll and Jack Marshall, and former defence minister Barney Danson. You’ll discover hockey stars, poets, actors, sewing machine operators, lawyers, dentists, and engineers, as well as the 16 Canadian rabbis who served with them at home and overseas.

Please support your local authors during the COVID pandemic: you can easily order “Double Threat” books from Chapters or Amazon, or The U of T Press, or A Different Drummer in Burlington. If you would like to purchase a custom signed copy, books will be available for purchase at the event.

Please feel free to bring your own family’s memorabilia to the event of folks who were veterans. There will be a Q and A and opportunities to share your own family’s story.

William Landry

Oakville Trafalgar Community Centre, 325 Reynolds St.

325 Reynolds Street
Oakville, Ontario Canada
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Copyright © Ellin Bessner