Canadian Holocaust Survivors: From Liberation to Rebirth

Paula J. Draper


Survivors of the Holocaust emerged from their traumatic experiences
with physical and emotional scars that would take a lifetime
to mend. The first years after Liberation were marked by
wandering and coming to terms with the loss of personal and
national identities. Survivors came to Canada hoping to build
new lives, yet discovered that their memories travelled with
them. Canadian Jews and Social Service agency workers
approached them with varying degrees of sympathy and uneasiness,
sensitivity and ignorance. In the larger cities, survivors
tended to build their own communities of extended families.
Younger survivors who were able to complete their education
melded into the larger Jewish polity. Despite the burden of their
pasts, most survivors who settled in Canada were determined to
construct meaningful new lives and rebuild their families.

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