Decorated Montreal athlete told Boston Bruins ‘No’; went to fight Hitler, save Jews
The Second World War story of Sgt. Samuel Moses “Moe” Hurwitz, DCM, MM, was so incredible that the Jewish community commissioned a wartime comic book about him. The comic book was never published. His commanding officer wrote a thin booklet about Moe’s bravery, and called him a bigger hero than the “tinseltown” stars of Hollywood movies. Few people have read the 1952 book.
But modern day historians including myself and the cartographers at the award-winning Canadian educational mapping website Project’44 recognized there was something special about Moe Hurwitz’s time serving with the Canadian Grenadier Guards (22nd Canadian Armoured Regiment) fighting in France and Holland in 1944-1945. They felt Canadians should learn more about one of this country’s hidden heroes.
This week, a series of interactive websites and articles have been published about Hurwitz, who was the most highly decorated non-commissioned Jewish Canadian armoured corps officer in the Second World War.
I wrote the story about Moe’s life for this series, because my own 2019 book, “Double Threat” was the first to portray this working-class Jewish immigrant family in Montreal, and their contribution to Canada. It has been my honour to give a wider platform to Moe’s story on this important new showcase. Thanks to Drew Hannen and the team for the opportunity.
The moment by moment account of Moe’s battles, written by David O’Keefe, is also available on the site.
Project ’44 also published an interactive story map about Moe’s more famous surviving younger brother, Harry Hurwitz. Harry was a veteran of the Royal Canadian Navy who fought and was taken prisoner during WWII. He was Moe’s biggest champion. He went around speaking about his own experiences on HMCS Athabaskan, and also told Moe’s story, at schools and in scores of interviews. Harry died in a Montreal veterans’ hospital in October, at the age of 99.