As the world prepares to mark the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII, Toronto author and journalist Ellin Bessner takes us back in time to the days when Canadian troops began cleaning out the remnants of Nazi Germany’s occupation forces across Europe. During the spring of 1945, the troops were met with a joyous welcome 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 Nazi concentration camps like Vught and Westerbork, and also, the notorious Bergen-Belsen.
Canada’s 17,000 Jewish soldiers who served in WWII are finally getting their due at Veterans Affairs Canada. A new web exhibit two years in the making has gone live on the government website Remembering Those Who Served.