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In his short novel Holy Week A Novel of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, first published in Polish in 1945, Andrzejewski Jerzy tells the story of Jan and Anna Malecki’s attempt to shelter Jan’s Jewish friend Irena Lilien in Gentile Warsaw during the Jewish uprising in the Warsaw Ghetto in the spring of 1943.

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On the evening, throughout the night, and during the following day of November 10/11, 1938 Nazi persecution of Jews in Germany ramped up to a whole new level surpassing the commonly accepted “respectable” antisemitism practiced in so much of the world community in the early twentieth century.

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In her book When Light Pierced The Darkness, Polish born University of Connecticut Professor Emerita of Sociology Nechama Tec, offers a chilling portrait of one root of the insidious evil known as antisemitism.

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In his Nazi Germany and the Jews Volume I: The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939, Saul Friedlander gives an exhaustive account of relations between the Nazis and the Jews of Germany in the years prior to the Second World War.

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It is terribly written, almost unreadable, and was published nearly 90 years ago. At close to 700 pages it is one of the most boring but famous books of the 20th century. Recently, it “has become an online hit, flying off the virtual shelves of iTunes and”

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It is a charmingly ordinary picture taken in front of their home. A lovely young family: Mother, Father, and their two daughters aged six and three.

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In Bible study yesterday morning, the prospect of a possible antisemtic bias in Scripture was raised.

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I am glad I attended last Sunday’s “Vigil” at the Jewish Cemetery.

I wanted to be there to say that I abhor the hateful attack on the Jewish community. I wanted to be there to demonstrate that we stand united against violence and prejudice in any form.

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I am not good at estimating the size of a crowd. But there were certainly hundreds of us gathered at 1:00 yesterday afternoon in the Jewish cemetery here in Victoria.

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Lest Canadians fall prey to the illusion that our ancestors were guiltless in the atrocities perpetrated against the Jewish people in Europe between 1933 and 1945, we would do well to read this morning’s Globe and Mail article “From Daniel Libeskind, a machine of shame.” The article announces the unveiling today of a memorial in Halifax that is intended to keep alive the memory of the refugee boat the MS St. Louis that was turned away from Canadian shores in 1939.

In an associated opinion piece Irving Abella explains the plight of the MS St. Louis.

On May 15, 1939, 907 desperate German Jews set sail from Hamburg on a luxury liner, the St. Louis. They had been stripped of all of their possessions by the Nazis, hounded out of their homes, their businesses and now their country. Their most prized possession was the Cuban entry visa each carried. Yet they considered themselves lucky – they were leaving a country where living as a Jew had become impossible.

Tragically, the ship was turned away from Cuba and when it sailed off Canadian shores, we too refused the passengers entry into our country.
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