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In Search of Better Days
Holocaust Survivors and Canada

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The Second World War ended in 1945. 

Around six million Jews were murdered in the Holocaust. 

Those that survived its horrors now faced harrowing questions: 

 What

Now?

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How do you rebuild a life after immense loss?

Where do you go?

What is home, and how do you find it?

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For close to 35,000 Holocaust survivors, Canada was the answer. In time, Canada would be the place where life began anew. After going through unimaginable horrors and suffering, survivors carried their pasts with them as they built lives in a new and unknown place.

At the core of this exhibit are the experiences of Holocaust survivors who built their new lives in and around Toronto. Through recorded testimony, this exhibit unpacks why and how Holocaust survivors came to Canada. It shares their journey to reach Canada, the challenges and triumphs that awaited them there, and their unique contributions to the fabric of this society.

These stories ask us what it really means to be Canadian. They challenge us to think about how Canada can be welcoming to those who are looking for a home.

What role do we each have to play in standing with those who are searching for better days?

Click on any of the picture boxes below to get started.

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1 - Pier 21
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Miriam Frankel

          I was 17 years old. Everything was so strange then. This is when we really started thinking about home, and you know, what happened to our parents, to our families. Thinking whether they were alive, whether we would find them, where would I be going back to? Would I be going back to Italy? Would I be going back to Hungary? Where would I find them? What would happen? I think that the enormity of what had happened to us during almost a year in camp just dawned on us all of a sudden, all of a sudden. We felt very frightened and drained, empty, and very fearful of a very uncertain future.

Max Eisen

     I was laying there and what I was thinking, "I’m happy - I’m liberated." I’m not sure that I could say that I was happy. I felt that I’m safe more than happy, you know? I knew that there’s no Nazi can hurt me anymore, this was the feeling that I had. But I had this terrible sight in front of me, you know, that did not make me feel happy. And I was thinking, did anyone else survive in my family? This was the first thing I was

thinking about.             

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