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Memoirs of Holocaust Survivors in Canada

Marcelle Ferron Permanent Memorial Holocaust Permanent Holocaust Memorial by Marcelle Ferron

The project to collect unpublished diaries and memoirs written by Holocaust survivors in Canada was initiated some years ago by Professors Mervin Butovsky and Kurt Jonassohn. They thought it important that these documents be preserved as a valuable part of the historical record because their contents would differ in significant ways from interview testimonies. Some of these differences are explored in a paper. (2)

The collected manuscripts were deposited in the Archives of Concordia University with the addition of an abstract and a list of key words with explanations. The location of towns and villages was ascertained by consulting standard reference works. The location of camps was facilitated by consulting Weinmann who identifies over 2,000 camps. (3) These memoirs are now accessible to interested scholars by consulting the Concordia University Archives.

At the present time we are launching the project Memoirs of Holocaust Survivors In Canada that will enable us to bring these testimonies to a wider audience. Therefore, at irregular intervals, time and funds permitting, we are issuing some of these materials on the Internet. In addition, a small number of copies will be printed for deposit in relevant libraries and Holocaust Centres.

In all cases, the authors or their representatives have given permission for this form of publication, with the provision that they will continue to retain the copyright.

The abstracts and key words of all of the manuscripts collected to date are available below and the following volumes of memoirs are currently available.

Published by the Concordia University Chair in Canadian Jewish Studies (1)

Series Editors
Mervin Butovsky and Kurt Jonassohn

Assistant Editor
Karin Björnson

Please contact Canadian Jewish Studies for any questions about these memoirs.


  1. Support has been provided by the Secretary of State, Multiculturalism, Ottawa, the Institute for Canadian Jewish Studies, and the Chair in Quebec and Canadian Jewish Studies.
  2. Mervin Butovsky and Kurt Jonassohn, "An Exploratory Study of Unpublished Holocaust Survivors Memoirs." MIGS Occasional Paper, February 1997.
  3. Weinmann, Martin, ed. Das nationalsozialistische Lagersystem (CCP). (Frankfurt am Main: Zweitausendeins, 1990). A valuable source for locating camps mentioned in the memoirs.
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