While this is a pretty heavy topic, I still want to introduce you to this book, Voices of Winnipeg Holocaust Survivors. I could only read small parts of it at a time, because the stories these people had to tell were so horrific I could barely see the pages through my tears. It angers me when I read about how some people refuse to believe that the Holocaust ever happened. That is pure ignorance. Books like this are necessary to make us face the reality of that dark time in our history, in the hopes that it doesn’t happen again. Unfortunately, there are still countries who believe this kind of ‘cleansing’ is necessary and they must be stopped just like the Nazis in World War II.
Sorry for the rant!
Back to the book: it contains information on over 70 individuals and families living in Winnipeg, who survived the Holocaust, or Shoah, as the Jewish people refer to it. There are photos and copies of official documents, along with family histories, including those of the book’s editor, Belle Millo. Some of the data was only given in the form of a survey, because some of the people died before their stories could be told.
The surveys had been part of a project that the Manitoba Holocaust Heritage Project began many years ago, that blossomed into this incredible book, capturing the lives of those brave souls within its pages. It amazes me that, after their awful experiences, they could put it all behind them and embrace their futures. I suppose, when you’ve faced death like that, you treasure ever moment of life, from then on.
Voices only tells a few stories in the whole scheme of things, but there are thousands (millions?) out in the world who have experienced similar injustices. It’s good to know that there is now documented proof of what happened to those people over 70 years ago, so that their voices will not be lost and will be heard by each new generation.
I hope you will be able to read these stories at some point and pass them on to those who need to learn about this black era in history. Drop by on Sunday, when I will be interviewing the book’s editor. 🙂
Documenting the stories of more than 70 local survivors and their families before, during and after the Holocaust, Voices of Winnipeg Holocaust Survivors was edited by Belle Millo, Chair of the Holocaust Education Committee. Gustavo Rymberg, formerly of Winnipeg produced the design and layout.
In addition to the written testimonies of the survivors, precious photographs further tell the story of a world that was lost, of entire families that were eradicated. Documents attest to imprisonment in concentration camps, confiscation of businesses by the Nazis, incarceration by the British on the island of Cyprus, to mention but a few.