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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Holocaust commemoration in Vancouver, B.C., 1943-1975 Schober, Barbara

Abstract

The subject of this thesis is the development of Holocaust commemoration in the city of Vancouver, British Columbia in the period between 1943-1975. In much of the current literature, the two decades following the Second World War are considered to have been a time when the Holocaust was virtually absent from the public discourse of North American Jewry. Commemoration, according to this view, is said to have been a private affair limited to survivors, a situation which changed only after the appearance of neo-Nazism in the early 1960s, the trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961, and particularly in the wake of the Arab-Israeli wars of 1967 and 1973. Based on my own study of the oral and documentary materials pertaining to Warsaw Ghetto memorials in Vancouver, I argue that these assessments, which are largely based on the official announcements and priorities of the national Jewish leadership, are of limited value in a community context, where there is evidence of a considerable variety of responses to the murder of European Jewry long before the awareness-raising events said to have initiated "Holocaust consciousness".

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