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Holocaust Education Week - Online Display



Banner that reads Hindsight Nov 2-9 202. Font is yellow and white. Background is black.

Holocaust Education Week (HEW), an initiative run by the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre, seeks to engage the public in learning about the Holocaust.

More than six million Jewish people were brutally murdered by the Nazi regime and its collaborators in the Shoah. Countless Romani, LGBTQ2 individuals, persons with disabilities and political dissidents also were killed as well as those who stood against the horrors of the Nazi atrocities.


Featured Resources

Brown bound book with text that reads The Madeleine and Monte Levy Virtual Museum of the Holocaust and the Resistance

The Madeleine and Monte Levy Virtual Museum of the Holocaust

McMaster University Library’s William Ready Division of Archives and Research Collections has for many years collected materials related to the Second World War. The extension of this collecting to document the Holocaust and underground resistance movements is more recent, but has nonetheless developed into a significant and important body of material.

The University Library’s first large acquisition in this area was made in 2008, when a vast and rich set of archival materials, books, and ephemera relating to the Holocaust and underground resistance in France arrived from collector Michel Brisebois. Several additional donations from Brisebois, bolstered by donations from other individuals in the intervening years, have developed the collection further. These invaluable primary and secondary sources have been further complemented by an ongoing effort to purchase books and documents on the subject, supported in part by a gift from Madeleine and Monte Levy. These physical collections are given greater depth by a variety of related online sources, including the USC Shoah Foundation Visual History Archive (or VHA). For more information on the collections and available resources, see the Additional Resources page.

The Madeleine and Monte Levy Virtual Museum of the Holocaust and the Resistance draws extensively on these collections. The site aims to showcase selected items from these collections and to intertwine them with video and images, case studies and other explanatory texts, with the goal of both placing the Holocaust and underground movements in the larger context of World War II in Europe and the often devastating and tragic experiences of individuals. The University Library is grateful for the support of the Levys in the development of this site and the telling of these important stories.

Book cover of By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz by Max Eisen. Shows a black and white photograph of a young boy. Background has beige and blue vertical stripes.

By Chance Alone: A Remarkable True Story of Courage and Survival at Auschwitz by Max Eisen

In the spring of 1944, gendarmes forcibly removed Tibor “Max” Eisen and his family from their home, brought them to a brickyard, and eventually loaded them onto crowded cattle cars bound for Auschwitz-Birkenau. At fifteen years of age, Eisen survived the selection process and was inducted into the camp as a slave labourer.

More than seventy years after the Nazi camps were liberated by the Allies, By Chance Alone details Eisen’s story of survival: the back-breaking slave labour in Auschwitz I, the infamous “death march” in January 1945, the painful aftermath of liberation, and Eisen’s journey of physical and psychological healing. Ultimately, the book offers a message of hope as the author finds his way to a new life in Canada.

Book cover of Tiny Lights for Travellers by Naomi K. Lewis. Features dark purple pattern of birds in flight and a silver circle that reads

Tiny Lights for Travellers

When her marriage suddenly ends, and a diary documenting her beloved Opa's escape from Nazi-occupied Netherlands in the summer of 1942 is discovered, Naomi Lewis decides to retrace his journey to freedom. Travelling alone from Amsterdam to Lyon, she discovers family secrets and her own narrative as a second-generation Jewish Canadian. With vulnerability, humour, and wisdom, Lewis's memoir asks tough questions about her identity as a secular Jew, the accuracy of family stories, and the impact of the Holocaust on subsequent generations.

Cover of Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George's Creators

Monkey Business

Curious George is the most popular monkey in the world. Since his introduction in 1941, the beloved series has sold over 75 million books in more than 25 languages. MONKEY BUSINESS explores the lesser-known tale of George’s creators, Hans and Margret Rey. After their four-week honeymoon to Paris turned into a four-year residency, they accidentally became children’s book authors when a publisher suggested they create a book out of a cartoon Hans had drawn. Being German Jews, however, their life in Paris abruptly came to an end in June 1940 when the Reys were forced to escape from the Nazis by riding makeshift bicycles—a manuscript of the first Curious George book was one of the few possessions they could smuggle out with them. Arriving in New York as refugees, they started their life anew and over the next three decades they created a classic that continues to touch the hearts and minds of children around the world.

Cover of KL : a history of the Nazi concentration camps by Nikolaus Wachsmann. The background is beige and the cover features two large lower case letters in red: kl.

KL : A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps by Nikolaus Wachsmann

Wachsmann offers an ... integrated account of the Nazi concentration camps from their inception in 1933 through their demise, seventy years ago, in the spring of 1945. The Third Reich has been studied in more depth than virtually any other period in history, and yet until now there has been no history of the camp system that tells the full story of its broad development and the everyday experiences of its inhabitants, both perpetrators and victims, and all those living in what Primo Levi called 'the gray zone'.

Cover image features a photograph of an archive with white text that reads

What Remains : The Post-Holocaust Archive in German Memory Culture by Dora Osborne

With the passing of those who witnessed National Socialism and the Holocaust, the archive matters as never before. However, the material that remains for the work of remembering and commemorating this period of history is determined by both the bureaucratic excesses of the Nazi regime and the attempt to eradicate its victims without trace. This book argues that memory culture in the Berlin Republic is marked by an archival turn that reflects this shift from embodied to externalized, material memory and responds to the particular status of the archive "after Auschwitz." What remains in this late phase of memory culture is the post-Holocaust archive, which at once ensures and haunts the future of Holocaust memory.

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