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163256: A Memoir of Resistance is Michael Englishman’s astonishing story of courage, resourcefulness, and moral fibre as a Dutch Jew during World War II and its aftermath, from the Nazi occupation of Holland in 1940, through his incarceration in numerous death and labour camps, to his eventual liberation by Allied soldiers in 1945 and his emigration to Canada. Surviving by his wits, Englishman escaped death time and again, committing daring acts of bravery to do what he thought was right—helping other prisoners escape and actively participating in the underground resistance.

A man who refused to surrender his spirit despite the loss of his wife and his entire family to the Nazis, Englishman kept a promise he had made to a friend, and sought his friend’s children after the war. With the children’s mother, he made a new life in Canada, where he continued his resistance, tracking neo-Nazi cells and infiltrating their headquarters to destroy their files.

Until his death in August 2007, Englishman remained active, speaking out against racism and hatred in seminars for young people. His gripping story should be widely read and will be of interest to scholars of auto/biography, World War II history, and the Holocaust.



Publié par
Date de parution 25 mai 2007
Nombre de lectures 1
EAN13 9781554580873
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

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163256 A Memoir of Resistance
163256 A Memoir of Resistance
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts for our publishing program. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Book Pub-lishing Industry Development Program for our publishing activities.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Englishman, Michael,1921163256: a memoir of
resistance / Michael Englishman.
(Life writing series) isbn 978-1-55458-009-5 1. Englishman, Michael,1921–.2. Jews—Netherlands—Biography.3. Holocaust, Jewish (1939–1945)—Personal narratives.4. Holocaust survivors—Canada—Biography.i. Title. ii.Title: One six three two five six. iii. Series. ds135.n6e562007940.5'138092c2007-901768-1
©2007Michael Englishman
Cover design by Angela Moody, Moving Images. Cover image (lower) © iStockphoto.com/ Brett Laxton. Text design by Catharine Bonas-Taylor.
Every reasonable effort has been made to acquire permission for copyright material used in this text, and to acknowledge all such indebtedness accurately. Any errors and omissions called to the publisher’s attention will be corrected in future printings.
This book is printed on Ancient Forest Friendly paper (100% post-consumer recycled).
Printed in Canada
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior written consent of the publisher or a licence from The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright). For an Access Copy-right licence, visit www.accesscopyright.ca or call toll free to1-800-893-5777.
Published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press Waterloo, Ontario, Canada www.wlupress.wlu.ca
Dedicated to the memory of my family who perished in the Holocaust, and to my children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren
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Preface / ix Introduction / xi 1Growing Up Jewish in Amsterdam /1 2Deportation /14 3From the Burght to Vughtand Auschwitz /26 4The Coal Mines of Janina and the Buna Works /31 5The Death March to Dora-Nordhausen and Building the “Secret Weapon” /41 6Liberation /50 7Finding the Children /54 8Picking Up the Pieces /63 9Canada, Here We Come! /68 10Déjà Vu /73 11Fighting Back by Telling the Truth /81 12Family Reunion /91 13March of the LivingApril2004/98 Afterword /105 Appendices /107 iFamily Relationships iiList of Prisons and Concentration Camps
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there is no way to properly describe the horrors of the nazi con-centration camps. Even after all these years much of what I saw and expe-rienced is difficult for me to talk about. But genocide—the mass murder of human beings because of their race or religion—continues to happen long after the defeat of the Nazis. I have come to realize that speaking out about what happened to the Jews in Europe from1933to1945is the only way I can help to prevent similar acts of brutality in the future. I started speaking to students and community groups about Hitler’s “war against the Jews” in1985. I was shocked to learn how little my audi-ences knew about the barbaric treatment of prisoners in the Nazi concen-tration camps. The Nazis and their cohorts excelled at inflicting the greatest possible psychological and physical pain on other human beings, and the camp commanders and guards were so proud of how well they did their jobs that they took photographs of their atrocities and mailed them home to their families. But the Nazis’ wholesale slaughter of innocent people did not begin with the concentration camps or with the gas chambers; it began with words. How was it that the nightmare of the Holocaust came out of a coun-try that had been a shining example of European democracy, a country that has produced an astonishing number of the world’s greatest composers, writers, artists, and philosophers? It happened because after the German people had elected Adolf Hitler and his Nazi party, the fascists’ first prior-ity was to destroy the democracy that had allowed them to flourish. Hitler took full advantage of his democratic right to freedom of speech and used