Delayed Impact

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2000-09-01
  • Publisher: McGill Queens Univ Pr

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Bialystok begins by examining the years immediately following World War II, showing that Canadian Jews were not psychologically equipped to comprehend the enormity of the Holocaust. Unable to grasp the extent of the atrocities that had occurred in a world that was not theirs, Canadian Jews were not prepared to empathize with the survivors and a chasm between the groups developed and widened in the next two decades. He shows how the efflorescence of marginal but vicious antisemitism in Canada in the 1960s, in combination with more potent antisemitic outrages internationally and the threat to Israel's existence, led to an interest in the Holocaust. He demonstrates that with the politicization of the survivors and the maturation of the post-war generation of Canadian Jews in the 1980s, the memory of the Holocaust became a pillar of ethnic identity. Combining previously unexamined documents and interviews with leaders in the Jewish community in Canada, Bialystok shows how the collective memory of an epoch-making event changed in reaction to historical circumstances. His work enhances our understanding of immigrant adaptation and ethnic identification in a multi-cultural society in the context of the post-war economic and social changes in the Canadian landscape and sheds new light on the history of Canadian Jewry, opening a new perspective on the effects of the Holocaust on a community in transition.

Author Biography

Franklin Bialystok is a part-time lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Abbreviations xiii
Introduction: A community of memory 3(11)
``The warm safety of North America'': The Holocaust and Canadian Jews in the 1930s and 1940s
Greener and Gayle: The Arrival of Survivors in the Late 1940s
``Europe's ghosts in Canadian living rooms: The Canadian Jewish Community in the 1950s
``The disease of anti-Semitism has again become active'': The Community and the Hate-Mongers in the Early 1960s
``A cleavage in the community'': The Toronto Jewish Community in the 1960s
``The Jewish Emptiness'': Confronting the Holocaust in the Late 1960s and Early 1970s
``Were things that bad?'' The Holocaust Enters Community Memory
``A crucible for the community'': The Landmark Events of 1985
Conclusion: The Holocaust is not Joseph 243(8)
Notes 251(54)
Bibliography 305(14)
Index 319

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