As the world commemorates Remembrance Day and also Holocaust Education Week, Canadian author and journalist Ellin Bessner will share a little-known story of the 17,000 Canadian soldiers of Jewish faith who fought Hitler in the Second World War and rescued the survivors of the Nazi’s Final Solution.
Bessner has spent ten years researching and interviewing hundreds of Jewish veterans and their families to piece this untold story together.
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.
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.
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