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Virtual Remembrance Day speech to the Probus Club Etobicoke Thursday Nov. 19, 2020
November 19, 2020 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am EST
As the world commemorates the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War, and Holocaust Education Week, Canadian author and journalist Ellin Bessner comes to the Probus Club Etobicoke club to say we still have work to do to fight the rise of antisemitism in our time.
Bessner is the author of “Double Threat”, published by the University of Toronto Press, 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 from Hitler’s Final Solution. Canada’s wartime Jewish community sent over 17, 000 men and women to defeat Hitler and rescue survivors of the Holocaust.
You will hear about some of the Jewish personnel with a connection to Mimico: the crewman who saved the life of Victoria Cross winning pilot David Hornell, and the wartime comedy duo of Johnny Wayne and Frank Shuster, who would later do a skit about the fictional hockey team known as the Mimico Mice.
Bessner has spent nine years researching and interviewing the veterans and their families to piece the untold stories together. Her message to audiences is that “Remembrance is an active verb” and we must carry the torch of those who fought for our freedom.
Ellin Bessner is a journalist based in Richmond Hill. Her career with CBC News and CTV News took her across Canada, and, around the world as a foreign correspondent. Ellin is currently a professor of journalism at Centennial College.
Books are available for purchase at your favourite booksellers, including online at Chapters, Amazon, and directly from the U of T bookstores. Toronto customers can contact Ellin directly to make arrangements to purchase a signed copy directly from the author, or sign up for her monthly newsletter.