The Camps Where Canada Kept Hundreds of Jews during World War II

Aug. 26 2020

When World War II began, Great Britain viewed aliens from enemy countries as suspicious, and sent many of them to internment camps in Australia or Canada. Included among them were many Jews born in Germany, Austria, and Italy, some of whom were refugees from the Nazis. Julie Masis writes:

Of the 2,284 Jewish men and boys who were held in Canadian camps—the British never arrested the women—966 were eventually allowed to remain in the country, according to Paula Draper, a historian who wrote her dissertation on the Canadian internment camps for German, Austrian, and Italian Jews during the war.

Interestingly, many prisoners went on to become extremely successful. Walter Kohn and Max Perutz received Nobel prizes in chemistry. Walter Homburger became the director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. Freddy Grant (né Fritz Grundland) was a jazz pianist who, while imprisoned, wrote a song with the lyrics, “You can scream and you can shout, they’ll never let you out.” It became a popular hit in Canada during the war, called “You’ll Get Used to It.”

“They were kept interned because the Canadian government knew they were Jews and didn’t want them in the country,” [Draper] said.

In Camp N in Sherbrooke, [Quebec], the men were housed in an old train repair yard. It was cold. There was one water faucet for roughly 900 people, and only nine toilets. The men wore uniforms with a big circle on the back that looked like a target. There was barbed wire and watch towers. One prisoner lost his nerve and ran for the fence. The guards shot him.

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Anti-Semitism, Canada, Canadian Jewry, United Kingdom, World War II

 

Will Tensions Rise between the U.S. and Israel?

Unlike his past many predecessors, President Joe Biden does not have a plan for solving the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Moreover, his administration has indicated its skepticism about renewing the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. John Bolton nevertheless believes that there could be a collision between the new Benjamin Netanyahu-led Israeli government and the Biden White House:

In possibly his last term, Netanyahu’s top national-security priority will be ending, not simply managing, Iran’s threat. This is infinitely distant from Biden’s Iran policy, which venerates Barrack Obama’s inaugural address: “we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.”

Tehran’s fist is today otherwise occupied, pummeling its own people. Still, it will continue menacing Israel and America unless and until the internal resistance finds ways to fracture the senior levels of Iran’s regular military and the Revolutionary Guards. Netanyahu undoubtedly sees Iran’s growing domestic turmoil as an opportunity for regime change, which Israel and others can facilitate. Simultaneously, Jerusalem can be preparing its military and intelligence services to attack Tehran’s nuclear program, something the White House simply refuses to contemplate seriously. Biden’s obsession with reviving the disastrous 2015 nuclear deal utterly blinds the White House to the potential for a more significant victory.

To make matters worse, Biden has just created a Washington-based position at the State Department, a “special representative for Palestinian affairs,” that has already drawn criticism in Israel both for the new position itself and for the person named to fill it. Advocated as one more step toward “upgrading” U.S. relations with the Palestinian Authority, the new position looks nearly certain to become the locus not of advancing American interests regarding the failed Authority, but of advancing the Authority’s interests within the Biden administration.

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Read more at 19FortyFive

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Joe Biden, U.S.-Israel relationship