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

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.

Read more at Times of Israel

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

Hamas Wants a Renewed Ceasefire, but Doesn’t Understand Israel’s Changed Attitude

Yohanan Tzoreff, writing yesterday, believes that Hamas still wishes to return to the truce that it ended Friday morning with renewed rocket attacks on Israel, but hopes it can do so on better terms—raising the price, so to speak, of each hostage released. Examining recent statements from the terrorist group’s leaders, he tries to make sense of what it is thinking:

These [Hamas] senior officials do not reflect any awareness of the changed attitude in Israel toward Hamas following the October 7 massacre carried out by the organization in the western Negev communities. They continue to estimate that as before, Israel will be willing to pay high prices for its people and that time is working in their favor. In their opinion, Israel’s interest in the release of its people, the pressure of the hostages’ families, and the public’s broad support for these families will ultimately be decisive in favor of a deal that will meet the new conditions set by Hamas.

In other words, the culture of summud (steadfastness), still guides Hamas. Its [rhetoric] does not show at all that it has internalized or recognized the change in the attitude of the Israeli public toward it—which makes it clear that Israel still has a lot of work to do.

Read more at Institute for National Security Studies

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security