Finding ‘Blackie’: a lost Toronto WWII Jewish airman from Harbord Collegiate

I started writing this feature story to find out who “Blackie” was, after some former Camp Naivelt alumni told me about a wooden statute shaped like an airplane wing that used to sit in a place of prominence at the Toronto-area summer camp during the Second World War. The staff built it to honour the memory of a beloved sports director and camp counsellor — who everyone called “Blackie”. He had been a pilot serving with the British RAF, and was killed in action overseas during the Second World War. No one remembered his name, though.

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New exhibit about Jewish WWII soldiers at Veterans Affairs Canada

Canada’s 17,000 Jewish soldiers who served in WWII are finally getting their due at Veterans Affairs Canada. A new web exhibit two years in the making has gone live on the government website Remembering Those Who Served.

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Canadian veteran’s photos of Bergen-Belsen revealed for International Holocaust Remembrance Day

And, as many Canadian airmen said after they liberated concentration camps, they never forgot what they saw. But Montreal electrician Ben Delson of the RCAF went one step further; he had a camera, and his black and white photos from Belsen show the mass graves, while others show bodies in shrouds before burial, and one shows a sign indicating the location of mass grave #7.

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Why the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting sounds so familiar

Following the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, not many people know about the historic Canadian anti-semitism against the Jewish community of Quebec City, but it is in my book “Double Threat” about the experiences of Canada’s Jewish community before and during WWII. It is a story my own family knows well.

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