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Thousands of Jews fled Germany before the start of the Second World War, during the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany. Approximately 70,000 German Jews were admitted to Britain as refugees, on work or student visas, or as part of the Kindertransport program. When World War II broke out in 1939, Britain stopped allowing immigration from Nazi-controlled countries. By 1940, public opinion turned against German-speaking refugees. They were widely suspected of being spies or saboteurs. Those who had not already enlisted in the war effort were interned or deported to Australia and Canada. In the summer of 1940, 2,300 German and Austrian Jews aged 16 to 60 were sent to Canada. They were interned in guarded camps in Ontario, Quebec, and New Brunswick.

For these survivors, coming to Canada was not a choice. Instead, it was something forced on them. When they were freed at various times, many decided to stay in Canada to build their new lives. Learn about the experiences of an interned Jewish refugee from the experiences of Rabbi Erwin Schild.

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