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.