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Holocaust survivors faced a number of challenges when they arrived in Canada. Many often had to learn a new language and adapt to a new way of living. Many Canadians treated survivors as outsiders to be distrusted. Antisemitism was still a major force in Canada even after the world learned of the Holocaust. Some Canadians would even go on to falsely claim that the Holocaust never happened.

Holocaust survivors persevered to build their new lives in the face of this unjust hate. They would help change Canada's attitudes towards Jewish people.

Use this section to learn about the discrimination Holocaust survivors faced when building their new lives in Canada.

Subtopic Background


The problems and issues in Europe were not completely left behind. While Canada may have been a new start, Holocaust survivors still faced antisemitism. Discrimination and hate were present in Canada and affected survivors in their everyday lives.

Subtopic Background


When Holocaust Survivors came to Toronto, many spoke no English at all. They had to learn quickly in order to find jobs. Some survivors felt they even had to change their European-sounding names to fit in to Canadian life. Changing their names and language meant changing their identity, and how they thought of themselves. Life in Canada was a culture shock for survivors, as many people could not understand the suffering they had endured.

Subtopic Background


Holocaust denial is a form of antisemitism. Holocaust deniers say that the Holocaust never happened or has been greatly exaggerated. They accuse Holocaust survivors of being liars and try to undermine the facts of history. They may claim that the gas chambers and death camps are a trick, or hoax, invented by Jews.

Unfortunately, there have been many denial movements in Canada. These people and groups who hold these hateful beliefs continue to be a major difficulty for survivors and their families.

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