Treasure Trove: Remembering the sacrifices made by Canadian Jewish soldiers during the Second World War

Canadian Jews in World War II was published by the Canadian Jewish Congress in two parts in 1947 and 1948 to recognize the nearly 17,000 Jewish soldiers who fought in the war for Canada. The first volume tells the story of the 196 Jewish soldiers who received military decorations for their service. The second volume lists the 429 Jewish casualties.

Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King included this dedication:

“For the Jewish people the recent war had an especial significance. The way of life of all free peoples was threatened by Nazi and Fascist aggression. In addition, the Jewish people had the even sterner realization that for them it was not only a way of life, but life itself that was at stake. They fought not only for freedom but for survival. The contribution of the Jews of Canada bears eloquent testimony to the manner in which they met the double threat the war presented. The Canadian people share with their fellow citizens of the Jewish race a sense of pride in the sacrifice and courage which these pages record.” 

The books are dedicated “To the millions of Jews everywhere who resisted Hitlerism and Fascism to their last breath.”  

An exhibit of hidden treasures of Canadian Jewish veterans is on display at Beth Tzedec Synagogue in Toronto until Nov. 11, Remembrance Day. All of the Allied soldiers who sacrificed so much for our freedom are the true treasures.