ePUB Carol Matas Ó Turned Away The World War II Diary of Devorah Bernstein Ó

This dramatic story tells of 11 year old Devorah's efforts to help her cousin and pen pal Sarah emigrate from Paris before the Nazis deport the Jews to internment camps Devorah learns that 5000 Jewish children in France have visas to leave the country but the Canadian government will not let them in leading Devorah to desperately lobby the government to change its policies Turned Away illustrates the restrictions on the life of Jews in Paris via letters from Sarah who is living in German occupied France It also reveals Canada's dismal record on Jewish immigration during World War II and depicts the impact of the war in Canada In Winnipeg one intriguing response to the war was If Day when local people posed as Nazis and staged a mock invasion to illustrate what it would be like if the city was occupied Also included are fascinating period documents and photographs many from the Holocaust Memorial Museum The historical consultants for Turned Away were Dr Irving Abella co author of the ground breaking book None is Too Many and Terry Copp author of the remarkable book No Price Too High


10 thoughts on “Turned Away The World War II Diary of Devorah Bernstein

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    It's 1941 Manitoba and the war is only just getting underway This is a story of the war through the eyes of a Jewish girl on the home front It touches slightly upon several major concerns the Winnipeg Grenadiers Canadian pows in Hong Kong Canadians fighting in the RAF over Europe Japanese internment camps in BC and many other topics are touched upon However the main subject in Turned Away is a very shameful episode in Canadian history which is barely known about these modern days Myself I only learned of this several years ago and from a children's novel at that During WWII Canada did not welcome any Jewish refugees from Europe In fact they had a policy to turn them away an antisemitic government was mirroring the sentiments a nation had been harbouring not with hate but with complacency Canadians were shaken to their foundations when they found out what Hitler was doing to the Jews but the Liberal government wished to keep the issue off the table having a vocally antisemitic immigration branch and did nothing to reflect the change in societal attitudes The US was not exactly open to Jewish refugees either but statistically Canada has turned out to be the country with the lowest number of Jewish refugees allowed entrance during WWII with our record of 5000 Jews from 1933 1945 compared to the US's 200000This is a sad story very sad Mostly it tells the day to day life of Devorah in Manitoba who has brothers and cousins fighting in the war all over the world and her mother's brother and his family living in Paris France We find out what day to day life is like this year 1941 in Canada when things change from fairly normal to having war time rationing and community deaths affecting daily living by the end There is no great plot device it is a quiet story very sombre Devorah and her cousin Sarah in Paris write to each other and through this the reader experiences the horrendous atrocities the Nazis perpetrated on the Jews and in which the French themselves often participated There is a lot of discussion about evil vs God bad and good who lets these things happen the various reasons people do bad things from evil pleasure to being afraid not to comply I learned quite a bit from this book even though I read about this war a lot One such thing was the If Day Manitoba created allowing the city schools and government included to be mock invaded by Nazis This must have been terrifying especially for the children but it really brought home the reality of what their family was experiencing overseasCarol Matas is one of our greatest current writers of historical fiction and she has handled this subject delicately without hedging around about the horrors The ending is sad and bittersweet and once again I'm recommending a book in this series for the older age range of the suggested 8 12 years Truly well writtenThese numbers and facts are taken from the historical note at back of book my own misguided knowledge and interpretation may have caused errors between how I've explained things and the precise expert information written by the author