Greener and Gayler

Relations between Holocaust Survivors and Canadian Jews
  • Franklin Bialystok
Chapter

Abstract

Philip Weiss came to Winnipeg from Europe in 1948. Born in Poland in 1924, and having survived the death camp at Auschwitz, he recalls his first years in Canada.

They were hard years. We had full freedom, but still from a point of spiritual satisfaction, there was a lot to be desired. You had to start anew, you were an immigrant. We didn’t have relatives. We were strangers in a strange land. You were not fully accepted, even in Jewish circles. There were barriers between Canadian citizens and those who survived. We were all considered to be greener, and we were to a certain degree… For a certain period of time everything was dark, you could not be as happy as the Canadian who didn’t go through the experiences of the Second World War. It was a tremendous burden which a former inmate carried for a lengthy period of time. Eventually the barriers broke. For me it took a minimum of twenty years.1

Keywords

Sugar Depression Europe Ghost Dial 

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Notes

  1. 3.
    Donia Blumenfeld Clenman, Selections from I Dream in Good English Too (North York, Ontario: Flowerfield and Littleman, 1988,) p. 14.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    Joseph Kage, With Faith and Thanksgiving: The Story of Two Hundred Years of Jewish Immigation and Immigrant Aid Effort in Canada, 1760–1960 (Montreal: Eagle, 1962), p.262. In 1951, the population was 204,836, and Kage estimated the 1961 population at 265,000. In proportional terms, the decade from 1901 to 1911 had the highest growth rate, more than 300 percent.Google Scholar
  3. 7.
    J. Torczyner and G. Goldmann, ‘Demographic Challenges Facing Canadian Jewry’ in The Canadian Jewish News, 12 December 1993, pp.1–2. Kage, With Faith and Thanksgiving, p.261 (extrapolated), 262.Google Scholar
  4. John J. Sigal and Morton Weinfeld, Trauma and Rebirth: Intergenerational Effects of the Holocaust (New York: Prager, 1989), p.6.Google Scholar
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  6. 9.
    In 1951, Jews had the greatest overrepresentation of males in the professional and financial occupation class of any ethnic group in the country (10.1 percent of Jews vs five percent nationally). In 1961, the gap had grown to 7.4 percent (16 percent vs 8.6 percent). A similar pattern emerges in school attendance of males, 5–24 years old. In 1951, Jews were overrepresented by 11.1 percent (64.9 percent vs 53.8 percent), and in 1961 by 16.5 percent (84.8 percent vs 68.3 percent), by far the largest figure for any ethnic group. Source: Census of Canada, 1951, 1961, Dominion Bureau of Statistics, 1961, as reported in John Porter, The Vertical Mosaic (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1965), pp.86–91, 564.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    David Rome in Pathways to the Present: Canadian Jewry and the Canadian Jewish Congress (Toronto: Canadian Jewish Congress, 1985), p.22.Google Scholar
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    For example see the following general studies: Donald Creighton, The Forked Road: Canada 1939–1957 (Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1976), chapters 6, 9, 10;Google Scholar
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  11. M.H. Watkins and D.F. Forster, eds., Economics: Canada — Recent Readings (Toronto: McGraw-Hill, 1963);Google Scholar
  12. Kenneth Norrie and Douglas Owram, A History Of The Canadian Economy (Toronto: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1991), chapters 20, 21.Google Scholar
  13. 24.
    For information on the social and demographic composition of inter-war Jewry in Central and Eastern Europe, see Y. Gutman, E. Mendelsohn, J. Reinharz and C. Shmeruk (eds.), The Jews of Poland Between Two World Wars (Hanover, N.H.: University Press of New England, 1989);Google Scholar
  14. Ezra Mendelsohn, The Jews Of East Central Europe Between The World Wars (Bloomington, Ind.: University of Indiana Press, 1987);Google Scholar
  15. Martin Gilbert, Atlas of the Holocaust (London: Michael Joseph, 1982), p.32 (adapted).Google Scholar
  16. 30.
    Abraham Arnold, With The War Orphans in Toronto, Congress Bulletin, Montreal: April, 1948,. Winnipeg: Abraham Arnold Papers, P5136/50.1, Provincial Archives of Manitoba. Sidney Katz, The Human Legacies of World War II — the redeemed children in Maclean’s, 10 February 1962, in the Canadian Jewish Congress Papers, PAM, P3535/6, Provincial Archives of Manitoba. The article is largely based on Ben Lappin’s book, The Redeemed Children: The Story of the Rescue of War Orphans by the Jewish Community of Canada. (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1962).Google Scholar
  17. 35.
    Quotations are taken from John Hirsch, ‘How I Discovered My Roots’, in Jewish Life and Times — A Collection of Essays (Winnipeg: Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada, 1978); a transcript of an interview with Hirsch, 29 June 1972, Winnipeg: Canadian Jewish Congress Papers, P3535/5, Provincial Archives of Manitoba. Additional information was gained from the Gutkin and Zolf interviews. Hirsch was one of Canada’s leading dramatists for two decades. He died in 1989.Google Scholar
  18. 41.
    The Kupfer interview is part of the videotape project of the Winnipeg Second Generation Committee which are found in the archives of the Western Canada Jewish Historical Society in Winnipeg. The Posner, Chandler and Kwinta interviews are in the Transcripts of Survivor Testimonies. Chava Kwinta, I’m Still Living (Toronto: Simon and Pierre, 1974). Elsa Chandler first spoke publicly about her experiences as the keynote speaker at the Yom Hashoah Commemoration of the Holocaust Remembrance Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Toronto in April 1995. Howard and Elsa Chandler also spoke informally with the author.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2001

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  • Franklin Bialystok

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