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WHAT NOW?

Why did so many Holocaust survivors come to Canada?

After the war, many survivors faced the harsh reality that they were the sole survivor of their families. Some returned to their homes in Europe and found their neighbours living in their houses. Some found their things looted and stolen, and their lives and communities completely destroyed. Many survivors no longer felt safe, secure, or welcome in the places they had once called home. Even if survivors knew little about Canada, it often seemed like a stable option compared to where they already were.

But what was Canada really like? During the 1930s throughout the Second World War, and into the postwar era, restrictions on immigration made it challenging for people to come to this country. Jews who tried to escape Europe by moving to Canada were often turned away. Some Canadians said it did not matter how many Jews came to Canada, that even “none” was “too many.”

Jewish groups like the Canadian Jewish Congress and the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society worked hard to make changes so that Canada would allow more Jewish immigrants to enter.

 Use this section to learn the different ways Holocaust survivors approached the question "what now?"

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