None is Too Many

None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933-1948

IRVING ABELLA
HAROLD TROPER
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 384
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt2tv09d
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  • Book Info
    None is Too Many
    Book Description:

    None Is Too Manywill undoubtedly continue to serve as a potent reminder of the fragility of tolerance, even in a country where it is held as one of our highest values.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6384-8
    Subjects: History, Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. INTRODUCTION (Revised for the 2012 edition)
    (pp. ix-xviii)

    None Is Too Manywas first published thirty years ago. With the release of this 2012 edition,None Is Too Manybecomes available to readers for a fourth consecutive decade. Defying expectations, including those of the book’s two authors,None Is Too Manycontinues to engage readers and have an impact on the public discussion of ethics and morality in government, the righting of historical wrongs, the shaping of Canadian immigration and refugee policies, the responsibility of the bystander in history, and the role of the historian as witness. And, several years ago, whenThe Literary Review of Canadahonoured...

  4. PREFACE
    (pp. xix-xxii)
  5. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
    (pp. xxiii-xxvi)
    I.A. and H.T.
  6. 1 WHERE THEY COULD NOT ENTER
    (pp. 1-37)

    It was May of 1938, and time was running out for the Kohn family of Bratislava, in Czechoslovakia. The Nazis had marched into Austria and were now making noises about pushing on. For some years the Kohns, a wealthy Jewish farming family, had been selling their land and other assets, while gradually transferring what money they could to a cousin who had left for Holland in 1935. It was now urgent that the Kohns make a decision, and a family conference of all the relatives—sons, daughters-in-law, brothers and sisters—was called by the patriarch of the family, seventy-year-old Julius...

  7. 2 THE LINE MUST BE DRAWN SOMEWHERE
    (pp. 38-66)

    In January 1939 a young man joined the Department of External Affairs. Escott Reid, a Rhodes Scholar, was then thirty-five years old and had been, for several years, the national general secretary of the Canadian Institute of International Affairs. His first posting with the department was as second secretary of the Canadian legation in Washington, where he arrived on January 27 to begin work a day later.

    Reid’s first day at the embassy was, he recalled, “most distressing.”¹ What made it so was that he was given responsibility for dealing with Jewish refugees. As he wrote to his wife mid-way...

  8. 3 DER FETER YIUV IST BEI UNS
    (pp. 67-100)

    Three months after the invasion of Poland began, an envelope arrived at the home of the Goldstein family in Toronto. It was from the Red Cross in Geneva and contained a letter one of its officials had smuggled out of Poland—the first word anyone in Canada had received about what was happening to that country’s Jewish community. The Goldsteins knew the writer well; he was a rabbi and a nephew of Mrs. Goldstein. And they realized that he was writing in code, fearful that the letter might fall into the wrong hands. But they could make no sense of...

  9. [Illustrations]
    (pp. None)
  10. 4 THE CHILDREN WHO NEVER CAME
    (pp. 101-125)

    For no one was the onset of war more terrifying than for the children of Europe, and for no one did the people of Canada show more concern. Even before the start of the war the Canadian National Committee on Refugees had managed to force out of a reluctant government an agreement to admit one hundred refugee children who had made their way to England. There were approximately nine thousand of these children in Britain, some of them orphans, many of them separated from their parents, all of them frightened. All of those to be admitted to Canada, the cabinet...

  11. 5 OTTAWA OR BERMUDA? A REFUGEE CONFERENCE
    (pp. 126-147)

    By 1943 the Nazi death camps were working overtime. From all over Europe, Jews by the hundreds of thousands were being shipped in crowded cattle cars to Auschwitz, Sobibor, Treblinka and the other German murder factories. The Warsaw ghetto was being razed and well over a million Polish Jews had been murdered. Millions more, it was clear, would soon be.

    One of these was Chaim Kahane, a Polish Jew who had moved to Berlin following the First World War and had become a successful banker. His brother, Simon, had meanwhile emigrated to Canada. FollowingKristallnacht,Simon, now a wealthy merchant,...

  12. 6 IN THE FREE AND CIVILIZED WORLD
    (pp. 148-189)

    The Bermuda Conference had successfully failed. Except for the few administrative changes cosmetically enlarging the scope of the Intergovernmental Committee’s mandate to include refugees from all Nazi-controlled areas and the few expressions of sympathy, little was done. But the refugee crisis would worsen, all knew it, and Britain’s delegates to the conference knew pro-refugee activists would not let up. One delegate warned London that “refugee enthusiasts, mainly Jewish-inspired,” would settle for nothing less than mass rescue of the Jews in Hitler's hands. But this, he insisted, was impossible. Even if the complex diplomatic, military, financial and technical problems of any...

  13. 7 ONE WAILING CRY
    (pp. 190-237)

    One morning in early May 1945 work at Globe Bedding, a mattress manufacturer in Winnipeg, came to an abrupt halt. As the company owner looked on sympathetically, women in the plant gathered around a fellow worker. They comforted her, shared her grief and perhaps anticipated their own. The worker, a fifteen-year employee at Globe Bedding, had just received a letter from her sister in Russian-liberated Poland. This was the first word she had had since the German invasion of Poland in the autumn of 1939. The sister explained simply that, “from her family of 85 people, everyone was killed with...

  14. 8 A PLEASANT VOYAGE
    (pp. 238-279)

    On April 19, 1948, the S.S.Beaverbraestood prepared to depart the German port of Bremerhaven for Canada. It carried a full complement of passengers, mostly displaced persons. As many stood excitedly at the railings anticipating their last glimpse of Europe, the ship’s loudspeaker system crackled to life. With the permission of the snip’s captain, a statement prepared by Canadian Immigration Branch authorities was read to the passengers, first in German then in Russian.

    Attention!! Attention!! Please! I am speaking to you in the name of the Canadian Government. On ships carrying emigrants from Europe to Canada, incidents are supposed...

  15. 9 CONCLUSION
    (pp. 280-285)

    This prologue to Adele Wiseman’s play, “The Lovebound,” encapsulates an historical truth about the fate of European Jewry, a fate not sealed by the actions of the Nazis alone. Undeniably, the Nazis’ determination to rid themselves and the world of Jews led directly to the blood lust of mass murder and eventually to the gas chambers and crematorium of Auschwitz. But the world was not unaware. The Nazis had early on signalled their intent if not their methods. Yet no nation interceded on behalf of those doomed—not for lack of opportunity but for lack of will. With no states...

  16. EPILOGUE (Toronto, June 1991)
    (pp. 286-289)
    Irving Abella and Harold Troper

    The telephone broke the night silence.None Is Too Manyco-author, Harold Troper, stumbled out of bed. Almost certainly, anyone telephoning at 3 a.m. was not going to be delivering good news. He picked up the receiver mid-ring. As he said hello, he remembered how difficult it had been to fall asleep after the excitement of the day.None Is Too Manyhad just officially been released and a party at a local bookstore turned into a celebration after a positive review of the book appeared in that day’sGlobe and Mail.

    It was more with relief than annoyance that...

  17. NOTE ON SOURCES
    (pp. 290-293)
  18. NOTES
    (pp. 294-329)
  19. INDEX
    (pp. 330-340)