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Manitoba History: Anti-semitism in Manitoba in the 1930s and 40s

by Jonathan Fine

Number 32, Autumn 1996

This article was published originally in Manitoba History by the Manitoba Historical Society on the above date. We make it available here as a free, public service.

Please direct all inquiries to webmaster@mhs.mb.ca.

The following essay by Jonathan Fine of Kelvin High School won the Manitoba Historical Society’s 1995 Dr. Edward C. Shaw “Young Historians” Award.

Anti-Semitism, an expression of hostility towards Jews, has existed for hundreds of years. To many Gentiles, those with different customs and values posed a threat. Others hated Jews if they were successful and wealthy. Jealousy was a motive for prejudice. Anti-Semitism peaked with the rise of Nazism in the 1930s and 40s. Under Hitler, Jews were chastised, restricted, beaten, tortured and killed. Antisemitic North Americans shared Hitler’s view that Jews were the enemy.

Prior to the second World War, Canada welcomed Jews. From 1850 to 1920, 190,000 Jews emigrated to Canada primarily from Eastern Europe. [1] However, between 1922 and 1948, especially when Jews were desperate for asylum, Canada found room for fewer than 5,000 Jews. [2] Many Jews were restricted from entering Canada at the same time as other smaller countries were admitting five or six times Canada’s rate. The likely cause for restriction was anti-Semitism, although the government gave reasons such as the depressed state of the economy. The truth was that Canada could have supported these refugees but refused. The director of Immigration for much of the 1930s and 40s, Fredrick Blair, was a vocal anti-semite who denounced Jewish “habits.” [3] The country’s immigration policy became clear when an anonymous senior Canadian official responded to the question, “how many Jews should be allowed into Canada after the war,” declaring: “None is too many.” [4]

Throughout Canada and especially Quebec there was fear of a Jewish takeover. In Quebec newspapers declared: “The Jew is a thief to be avoided” [5] and “The Jew, Disgusting Creature who dreams of dominating the World.” [6] Many Quebec politicians endorsed such sentiments [7] and opposed Jewish immigration. [8] Fascist groups prospered in Quebec more than in any other Canadian province. The most popular, led by Arcand, held meetings and distributed hate literature.

What contributed to anti-Semitism in Quebec? The influence of the Catholic church and the fear of Communism were factors. Quebec’s anti-Semitism was echoed to a lesser extent through the rest of the country. In 1939 the premier of British Columbia declared that his province would accept refugees but not Jews. [9] Some hotels posted signs with: “Jews and Dogs NOT WANTED!” Across Canada, Jewish tombstones were knocked over, Jewish shops burned, graffiti painted and Jews were even beaten. Jewish quotas existed in various professions and universities. Jews were restricted from some clubs, neighbourhoods and resorts. Fascist groups outside of French Canada echoed Arcand’s anti-Semitism. In a poll taken in 1948 it was revealed that more Canadians were opposed to Jewish immigration than to German immigration. [10]

The history of anti-Semitism in Canada is difficult to trace. Prior to 1980 little was published on the subject. Jewish newspaper accounts of anti-Semitism are not widely accessible because most were published in Yiddish. [11] Books on Jewish immigrants in Canada emphasize the social aspect of life in Canada, mentioning antiSemitism only in passing. There are but a few archival documents such as David Rome’s Anti-Semitism in Canada. Canada’s fascist past was exposed with the publication of The Swastika and The Maple Leaf in 1975. [12] The 1983 release of None is Too Many by University of Toronto historians Irving Abella and Harold Troper broke new ground, uncovering the deep anti-Jewish policies that led to Jewish exclusion from Canada in the 1930s and 40s.

None is Too Many deals mainly with the anti-immigration policies of the government of Canada with a general overview of anti-Semitism in Eastern Canada. What was the situation in the rest of the country? Outside of Quebec and Ontario, the most populous provinces, the largest population of Jews lived in Manitoba. In 1931, Manitoba Jews constituted 2.4 percent of the population of the province, more than in Ontario or Quebec. [13]

Jews, fleeing severe economic, social and political restrictions in Russia, settled in Winnipeg and soon prospered at a variety of trades. Their population grew rapidly; by 1931, 19,193 Jews lived in Manitoba. [14] But anti-Semitism existed in the community. The anti-Semitic press coverage of the Dreyfus case in France in 1899 was not condemned by the local press. [15] Much of the blame for the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919 was directed at “socialistic” immigrants, and at those strike leaders who were Jewish. [16]

What was the degree of anti-Semitism in Manitoba during the thirties and forties at a time when anti-Semitism flourished and fascist organizations were growing? How were Jews treated? What forms of hostility did they experience? What fascist movements existed and who supported them? What was the response of Jews and Manitoba to these acts of aggression? This essay will attempt to answer these questions by showing that Jews were subjected to acts of both institutional and random racism, and that fascist groups established themselves by spreading anti-Semitism throughout the province. The opposition to anti-Semitism came mainly from the Jewish community, although other bodies denounced anti-Semitism, usually out of self-interest.

Many institutions in Manitoba practiced anti-Semitism. Jews were not welcomed at some recreational clubs. In 1948 the Puffin Ski Club made its policy official: Jews were simply not welcome. An application of an eleven-year-old boy was refused because “Jews are aggressive and can take over the club.” [17] In that same year the press revealed that the middle class residential development, Wildwood Park, as well as the upper class exclusive neighbourhood of Tuxedo, excluded Jews. [18] These areas were mainly populated by wealthy Anglo-Saxons. Jews were “persona non grata” at Victoria Beach, a popular summer retreat for “WASPs.” After a Jew purchased a cottage there, the local newspaper urged residents to “keep our beach free of ... the unwanted grades.” [19]

Front page of The Canadian Nationalist, the anti-Semitic newspaper of Canadian National Party (January, 1938)

A focal point of anti-Semitism was the School of Medicine at the University of Manitoba. Originally, entry was based upon academic performance and “the moral, social and physical qualities” [20] of the student. This principle did not remain. With the appointment in 1932 of Dr. Mathers as Dean of Medicine, a quota system was instituted, unknown to the general public. Based on rumours and little proof, the Israelite Press of Winnipeg attempted to reveal the Medical School’s discrimination in 1936. [21] The president of the University promised to conduct his own investigation. Nothing came of it.

In 1943 a group of non-medical Jewish students began researching the issue and information on each of the 1,500 students who had applied since 1926 was compiled. It was discovered that the basis of admission was not scholarship, or any other objective standard, but race. Racial origin was requested on application forms. All applications were classified into four lists: one for Jews, another for women and the third for Europeans. A fourth list, for Anglo-Saxon, French Canadian and Icelandic students, was the preferred list. [22] A student on the non-preferred list with an average of seventy percent was refused admittance while a “preferred” student was accepted even though he failed the required courses. The student who failed was then allowed to write a special exam in the summer and admitted despite the fact that he failed requires courses. A pre-determined number of applicants from the preferred list were admitted despite their poor showing.

From 1927 to 1930 an average of 18 Jews a year were admitted to the University of Manitoba School of Medicine while 45-46 non-Jews a year were admitted during the same time period. Between 1932 and 1936 an average of 9 Jews were admitted; non-Jews numbered around 40, and in the next seven years the average number of Jews decreased to 5; non-Jews increased to around 49. [23] Fear of reprisal contributed to the secrecy of the quota system.

The Avukah Committee’s results were presented to a select committee of the Manitoba Legislature on March 16, 1944 by Hyman Sokolov, a well-known Jewish lawyer. The president of the University and Dean Mathers were in attendance. Sokolov exposed the injustice of the “preferred” and non-preferred list for Jews and other minorities: “It is nauseating to contemplate a system which weeds out the fit and the capable,” he said, “while it permits incompetent and unqualified students to obtain a preference.” [24]

Hyman Sokolov, 1935
Source: Jewish Historical Society

The committee was shocked. Judge A. K. Dysart, the chairman of the board, and Dr. Sidney Smith, the president of the University, completely denied Sokolov’s accusation, dismissing it as a publicity stunt. [25] Dr. Mathers, however, argued that, “certain nationalities and groups” would never be accepted as doctors and therefore should not be admitted to medicine, [26] warning that the University would become “Jewish.” [27] Despite these claims an investigation was launched. The accusations were verified and the University was forced to change its policy.

What was behind this form of anti-Semitism in the community? For the most part it was motivated by fear and jealousy. Members of the medical faculty, who were mainly of Anglo-Saxon ancestry, feared that their race was being unfairly rejected from what they considered its rightful place. Their nineteenth century sense of Anglo-Saxon superiority was being threatened, while similar fears existed in some of the exclusive residential areas of Winnipeg. The response was discrimination.

Aside from the institutionalized anti-Semitism, there existed a significant number of random racist attacks against the Jewish race. For example, in 1937 a Mathematics teacher at St. John’s, the largest high school in Manitoba, made public racial slurs about Jews. [28] A few years earlier a teacher was called a “dirty Jewish substitute” by the principal of Pinkham School. When she enquired about her removal from staff, she was told it was “because she did not wear a hairnet.” [29] In 1938, at Knox United Church, Reverend James Clark supposedly condemned anti-Semitism in his sermon, but at the same time blamed Jews for not observing the laws of the land. [30] A year later in the newspaper North Ender made unflattering remarks about Jews. [31] In January of 1938 a sticker pasted to the back door of city hall, read: “Dogs and Jews not admitted.” [32] A few months later swastikas were painted on Jewish stores and businesses. [33] The desecration of a local synagogue occurred in 1946. [34]

Who were the perpetrators of these random acts? Were they the same people who excluded Jews from clubs and imposed the medical school quota? Probably not. The anonymous acts were probably committed by blatant racists and alienated hooligans who had a deep hatred for the Jewish race. Their acts were probably fueled by the fascist groups that existed in Manitoba.

Hitler regarded all Germans as citizens of the Reich; anti-Semitism was essentially for export. The fact that a German Consulate was located in Winnipeg facilitated the spread of anti-Semitic literature. [35] German Nazis denied their activities abroad, but it was not long before branches set up in the United States began infiltrating Canada. In 1933 a letter written to a German citizen of Winnipeg from a Nazi branch in Detroit read: “We appreciate your willingness to co-operate with us in establishing Nazi groups throughout Canada.” [36] Copies of a column praising Mussolini and Hitler were discovered in Winkler. [37]

In September of 1933, William Whittaker, an Englishman, established the Canadian Nationalist Party. Initially nothing was said against Jews publicly. In fact the party originally advocated the equality of all citizens. This soon changed as Whittaker came to condemn Jews at rallies and in his organization’s propaganda material. Whittaker’s rallies battled communism and advocated fascism and he used any means possible to enforce his rhetoric. When communists and Jews began appearing at Whittaker’s rallies he arranged for police officers to be present to remove the hecklers in the event of confrontation. The officers cooperated since it was a crime to interfere with free speech. The police’s implied support for the C.N.P. (Canadian Nationalist Party) legitimized the party. A rally in October of 1936 featured an anti-Semitic speaker, Henry Beamish, who stirred up support for the C.N.P. [38]

Whittaker’s organization was modelled on the Nazi storm troopers. Whittaker and his followers would parade around, wearing khaki shirts and riding boots. His Brown Shirts would antagonistically march through Jewish areas of Winnipeg. [39] The party maintained that their costumes were “typical Western Canadian Dress.” [40] Whittaker’s fascists partook in military training at army barracks in Winnipeg with the approval of the Mayor, Colonel Webb. [41]

Although Whittaker’s rallies and exercises were an important part of his platform, his principal anti-Semitic messages were communicated through hate literature. Using pamphlets and a racist newspaper called, The Canadian Nationalist, the C.N.P. reproduced all the myths of anti-Semitism. The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a document circulated in Czarist Russia warning of a Jewish takeover was distributed. In a 1935 issue of The Canadian Nationalist, Whittaker stated that Hitler’s regime had the potential “of placing the Jew just where be belonged.” [42] Propaganda pamphlets were particularly deceptive. One in particular read on the cover “Boycott Japan, Italy and Germany, and ...” Inside the phrase continued: “You will help this alien race of a people,” caricatured by a large nosed Jew, unshaven, with flies buzzing around his head. The pamphlet urged a boycott of Jewish goods, and support of German and Italian goods. The message was -- defeat the Jew and in turn communism would fall. Another C.N.P. document urged readers to “Unite solidly against ... Jewish inter-national, economic and financial domination.” [43] Ironically, the Jew was portrayed as both a communist and capitalist, and both were condemned.

Propaganda became nastier as Whittaker became bolder. In 1936 the C.N.P. informed Winnipegers: “Jews are born Cowards,” and “I AM A JEW! But that is my business, ... call me murderer, killer thief, viper, hypocrite, Son of Satan ...” [44] The Canadian Nationalist with headlines such as “Canadians awake! International Jewry is the cause of wars, depressions and world unrest!,” [45] warned that “if you ignore this article, you will ignore your own death at the hands of Jews ...” [46] The Evil Elders of Zion by a Winnipegger J. N. Sturk, urged Jews to “eshew all arrogance of spirit and brazen attempts at self justification, and to afflict their souls in repentance.” [47]

As the Canadian Nationalist Party continued its bombardment of Jews other movements began. From Ontario, the Deutsche Bund [48] spread across Canada. The Bund made its greatest headway in Winnipeg, describing itself as a social group. They supported (often bogus) professors who toured the nation supporting their Nazi cause. [49] The Winnipeg German Counsel, the largest shareholder in the Deutsche Zeitung, an anti-Semitic paper of the German League, was the base for the League. [50] The printer of its paper was also Whittaker’s printer. [51] In 1938 the militarism of the Bund swelled as they clashed verbally and sometimes even physically with members of the Anti-Fascist League.

The Social Credit Party also frightened many Jews. Its leader, Major C. H. Douglas, visited Winnipeg in 1936 with Dr. Mihychuk. They endorsed The Protocols Of the Elders of Zion. At a meeting in 1936 of more than 8,700 persons at a Ukrainian Catholic Church, Mihychuk described the Jew as “the curse of mankind.”

Who were the members of these groups and why did they support them? Manitoba’s large European immigrant population brought with them their historical hatred for the Jew. This made them easy targets for membership in fascist organizations. For others, the appeal in the C.N.P. lay in its solutions for a depression-riddled economy. For some the Jew was the scapegoat for the depression.

The front page of a pamphlet distributed by the Canadian Nationalist Party and reproduced in the Israelite Press, 26 July 1936.

Among the Europeans in Manitoba were Germans, the majority of whom were Mennonites who settled in two waves. The first came in the mid-1870s from Russia, where they had settled, years earlier, in an attempt to improve their economic situation. Mainly poor farmers who sought prosperity in Canada, these Mennonites had brought with them the folk idea or stereotype of the Jew: merchants hungry for money. A strong nationalist feeling to Germany also led some Mennonites to find appeal in fascism and anti-Semitism. Many settled around Winkler where the leader of a small fascist group, Laepky, admitted in 1937 that anti-Semitism was “naturally strong.” [53]

A second wave of wealthy, persecuted Mennonite land owners came from Russia to Winnipeg in the 1920s after the Bolshevik Revolution. They were vehemently anti-communist. Fascist groups sold anti-Semitism on the basis of anti-communism. The Jew became synonymous with communism, as Trotsky, a leading communist in Russia, was Jewish. Mennonites also supported the advancement of Germany, hoping they would return to their homeland to reclaim their wealth and property. Some Mennonites in Winnipeg played a significant part in Whittaker’s fascist movement. The Canadian Nationalist was printed in Winnipeg by the Publisher of a Mennonite church paper, Herman Newfield. [54] He praised Hitler and promoted Nazism among Mennonites. A few Mennonites, contrary to their pacifism, were also involved in physical confrontations with the Anti-Fascist League.

Some in the Ukrainian Community were sympathetic to fascist organizations for reasons similar to the Mennonites. Initially Ukrainians, a poor farming people, came to Winnipeg at the turn of the century bringing with them old antagonistic feuds and the stereotype of the Jew. Later, as a result of communism, Stalin imposed harsh restrictions on Ukraine, collectivising its farms. Later Ukrainian immigrants in Manitoba hated communism. Fascist organizations used anti-communist ideals to entice Ukrainians into anti-Semitism. Many fascist rallies were held in Ukrainian halls.

The fascist parties also appealed to those who were unemployed and in despair. The parties represented new hope, promising to end the depression. Fascists claimed that immigrants were taking jobs from others. They attempted to appeal to the common man, playing on the problems of society, blaming others, especially the Jewish population. It was easy to scapegoat Jews and they did, accusing them of controlling the banking system.

It was neither the Mennonites nor the Ukrainians, however, who established the C.N.P. Its leaders were mostly Anglo-Saxon ex-soldiers. Whittaker was from Britain. He established a strict military code for those in his inner circle. Old soldiers, many from World War One, were attracted by displays of Union Jacks and by ultra-patriotic sentiments. The leaders of the party had a type of back-room camaraderie, with discipline and paramilitary activities that appealed to ex-soldiers.

The Jewish Community took an active role in combating anti-Semitism. The mother of a Jewish boy refused by the Puffin Ski Club protested the decision. Mainly Jewish students boycotted the class at St. John’s High School where a teacher jeered Jews. Parents protested to a school trustee and the teacher later apologized. [55] After a racist sticker was posted on the provincial Legislative Building, resolutions were proposed by Jewish members of Legislature and adopted to condemn such actions. [56] When anti-Semitic material was printed in papers, Jews withdrew their support. Many prominent Jewish citizens fought anti-Semitism. They were led by M. J. Finkelstein, a lawyer and the president of the Jewish Congress for Western Canada. He spoke at anti-fascist meetings and wrote editorials condemning anti-Semitism.

Jewish organizations and the Jewish press also increased the public’s awareness of anti-Semitism. The Canadian Jewish Congress held meetings to discuss what could be done to confront anti-Semitism. A Jewish organization exposed the Manitoba Medical School quota. The press played an important role in combating anti-Semitism and fascist organizations. There were two Jewish newspapers. The first, The Jewish Post, dealt rarely with anti-Semitism in the community, concentrating mainly on social aspects in the community. The Israelite Press, however, a Yiddish newspaper printed in Manitoba, was instrumental in informing its readers of the latest act of vandalism or party meetings against Jews.

An Anti-Fascist League was established in Winnipeg, consisting not only of Jews but also of communists and organized labour members. The organization boycotted German goods, held meetings, and even confronted Whittaker and his party physically. The worst confrontation occurred on June 5, 1934 when a bloody riot developed in Market Square in Winnipeg. Some 500 people participated and most were anti-fascist. During the confrontations, according to the Winnipeg Free Press, “Knives flashed in the fast waning sunlight, heavy clubs crashed against cap-protected skulls, and huge slabs of wood were torn from the stalls of the market gardeners and used as battering rams.” [57] The Nationalist Party, beaten badly, appeared in court the next day humiliated with “bandages ... and blood spattered uniforms.” [58] Nine fascists were charged for taking part in the affair and released on $1,000 bail each.

The mainstream newspapers of Manitoba also took a strong stand against anti-Semitism. The Free Press, under its liberal crusading editor John Dafoe, countered the Nazi inroads. Despite the paper’s concern for free speech, Dafoe drew the line at Whittaker’s rhetoric. In a series of hard-hitting editorials he condemned Whittaker and his party for acts of anti-Semitism. The Free Press revealed the true face of fascist organizers, among them the anti-Semite Henry Beamish, who spoke at a lecture for the Nationalists. [59] Earlier The Free Press had condemned The Social Credit’s, “recent attempts in Winnipeg to make use of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a credible document.” [60] In 1943, The Free Press denounced anti-Semitism by calling discrimination at Victoria beach a “sanctimonious and a cowardly piece of Jews baiting,” [61] commenting, “Anti-Semitism ... has too large footing among Canadians ... Gross prejudices and ... exaggerations sadly mark every discussion of the historically fateful Jewish problem.” [62] The Tribune, another Winnipeg newspaper, condemned “vicious, ... anti-Jewish literature ... issued by Nazis,” recommending jail for its sponsors. [63] Later The Tribune revealed a link between the German government and Nazi propaganda in Manitoba. [64]

Prompted by Jewish politicians, Manitoba’s provincial government also took an active role in combating anti-Semitism. In 1934, John Queen, a socialist member of the Manitoba Legislative Assembly, denounced anti-Semitic propaganda. The attorney general, W. J. Major, promised to investigate and later he condemned both fascists and communists whose purpose, he said, was “to create racial strike and hatred against sections of citizens.” [65] Major advised citizens to refrain from joining these organizations. He banned a meeting of the C.N.P. [66]; however, he had no legal precedent for forbidding meetings. “Why had Major not banned communist meetings?” Whittaker demanded. Major backed down.

Pamphlet distributed by The Canadian Nationalist Party in Winnipeg during the 1930s.

Shortly afterwards The Manitoba Defamation Act, introduced by Marcus Hyman, a Jewish Labour Party member of the Legislature, became the first group libel law in Canada, and the only one until 1970. [67] It allowed a member of a racial or religious group that was being persecuted to sue the author or publisher for a halt in the production of material. The plaintiff did not have to prove that he was being affected personally; it was sufficient cause that his race or religion was being defamed.

Various organizations eventually went on record in their opposition to hate literature. The Canadian Veterans organization passed two resolutions denouncing any form of racial discrimination at a convention in Winnipeg. [68] The United Church adopted a resolution against importing anti-Semitic literature, specifically The Protocols Of the Elders of Zion. [69]

The Jewish community exposed anti-Semitism in Manitoba. Many of the Gentile organizations that opposed fascism did so, not because it was anti-Semitic, but because their own interests and beliefs were threatened. Communists were targeted by fascist groups. Labour organizations opposed the C.N.P. because they feared an attack on labour as had occurred in Nazi Germany. The Tribune’s denunciation of a piece of Nazi literature in 1939 was motivated by the Nazi’s condemnation of Britain; in this incident it virtually ignored anti-Semitism. [70] The Manitoba government wished to discredit fascism because the C.N.P. sought to abolish provincial governments. [71] Major condemned fascist organizations only when it became clear that he would suffer politically by his original flippant response to Queen. [72] Organizations which opposed anti-Semitism did so only after war broke out. It was then that the general public began to condemn these organizations, not so much because they were anti-Semitic as because they were affiliated with Nazi Germany, Canada’s enemy.

Editorial from the Victoria Beach Herald reproduced in The Winnipeg Free Press, 17 August 1943.

How effective were the measures adopted to oppose anti-Semitism? Despite the abolition of the quota system, anti-Semitism remained in the School of Medicine. In 1946, at a meeting of the College of Physicians, Dr. Chown suggested that Jews be kept out of the medical school on the basis that they were distinctly different. He argued that “30 percent of the students selected are Jewish” and that, “Jewish citizens are not completely amalgamated and looked upon as simply Canadians.” [73] Despite The Free Press’ condemnation of anti-Semitism, hate literature and racist actions continued. Using the group Libel Law, a Jewish member of the Legislative Assembly, William Tobias, charged the C.N.P. for accusing Jews of “ritual Murder.” [74] Tobias won the case; Whittaker was ordered to cease publication and the court awarded Tobias $300 for costs. Despite this blow the C.N.P. escalated distribution of hate literature.

In Manitoba, obvious manifestations of anti-Semitism existed al-though there was significant opposition, often motivated by self-interest rather than true concern. Compared to some other provinces, however, anti-Semitism in Manitoba had fewer adherents. In Quebec, Arcand had a membership of 80,000 [75]; Whittaker’s Manitoba membership was in the hundreds, falling apart after his death in 1938. The ethnically mixed population perhaps facilitated an eventual movement to tolerance. Jews were often well-educated, spoke English, and attended university. For these reasons they were often respected in the community. Compared to Quebec’s obviously anti-Semitic newspapers, Manitoba’s papers urged acceptance. Despite these factors, anti-Semitism in the 1930s and 40s had a following in Manitoba. Although individual acts were defeated and fascist groups went into remission, anti-Semitism remained, and would resurface in later years. [76]

Notes

1. Joseph Cage, “Jews,” Canadian Encyclopedia, 1985 ed.

2. Irving Abella and Harold Troper, None is Too Many (Toronto: Lester and Orphen Dennys Limited, 1983), vi.

3. Ibid., 8.

4. Ibid., 282.

5. David Rome, Clouds In the Thirties, Anti-Semitism in Canada 1929-39, 12 vols. (Montreal: Jewish Historical Society of Canada, 1981) 5:6.

6. Ibid.

7. In the summer of 1936 the mayor of the capital city of Quebec recommended The Patriote, an anti-Semitic newspaper, to an audience of 20,000 citizens. From Ibid., 7.

8. Wilfrid and Lecroix, French politicians, collected 127,364 signatures protesting “against immigration of any kind, and especially Jewish immigration.” From Simon Belkin, Through Narrow Gates (Montreal: Eagle Publishing Company, 1966), 177.

9. Abella and Troper, None is Too Many, 50.

10. Ibid., 232.

11. Yiddish is an intermingling of German, Hebrew and other Slavonic languages.

12. Lita-Rose Betcherman, The Swastika and the Maple Leaf (Toronto: Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 1975).

13. Louis Rosenberg, A Study Of The Changes in the Population Characteristics of The Jewish Community in Canada 1931-1961 (Montreal: Canadian Jewish Congress, 1965), 1.

14. Ibid.

15. Phyllis Senese, Anti-Semitic Dreyfusards: The Confused Western-Canadian Press from Anti-Semitism in Canada (Waterloo, Ontario: Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1992), 93-111.

16. Canada’s largest general strike occurred in Winnipeg, from 15 May to 25 June, 1919. Unemployment and inflation in Winnipeg, as well as the success of the Russian Revolution led the union to call a general strike. When management refused to accept collective bargaining and the workers demands for better wages, over 30,000 workers left their jobs. The federal government intervened and arrested the leaders of the strike. Confrontations during the strike left bitterness between much of the working class and the government. The union’s actions were seen by much of the Canadian population as a communist plot.

17. “The Puffin Ski Club Affair,” Israelite Press, 21 Dec. 1948, 1.

18. “Restrictive Covenants,” Israelite Press, 1 Dec. 1950, 3.

19. “Victoria Beach Anti-Semitism,” Editorial, The Free Press (Winnipeg) 17 Aug. 1943, 9.

20. Terence Moore, “Crumbling Foundation: The Medical School and the Depression,” Manitoba Medicine, vol. 58, no. 4 (1988-89), 140.

21. “President of University of Manitoba Promises to Investigate Discrimination,” Israelite Press, 25 Feb. 1936, 1.

22. Percy Barsky, How “Numerous Clauses” Was Ended in The Manitoba Medical School, from “Jewish Life and Times: A Collection of Essays,” (Winnipeg: Jewish Historical Society, 1983), 124.

23. Archival Document from the Manitoba Archives file MG9-5a “Hyman Sokolov’s presentation speech to the chairman and members of the Committee on Education to the Manitoba Legislative Assembly March 16 1944,” Table 1.

24. Ibid., 6.

25. “Dr. Mathers, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Declares at Hearing, That Hospitals Are Prejudiced Against Interns Of Certain Nationalties.” Israelite Press, 17 Mar. 1944, 1.

26. Ibid.

27. Irving Abella, A Coat of Many Colours (Toronto: Lester and Orphen Dennys Publishers, 1990), 216.

28. “Students Protest Anti-Semitic Comment,” Israelite Press, 11 May 1937, 1.

29. “School division accused of discrimination.” The Free Press, (Winnipeg) 10 Jan. 1934, 1.

30. Israelite Press, 14 Oct 1938, 2.

31. Israelite Press, 10 Oct. 1939, 1.

32. Israelite Press, 11 Jan. 1938, 1.

33. Israelite Press, 3 May 1938, 1.

34. Israelite Press, 4 Oct. 1946, 1.

35. Betcherman, 63.

36. Betcherman, 63.

37. Ibid.

38. “Anti-Semitic Meeting Held at Auditorium” Israelite Press, 23 Oct. 1936, 1.

39. Irving Abella, A Coat of Many Colours, 192.

40. Betcherman, 64.

41. Paul Saurette, An Analysis Of Fascist Elements In Manitoban Politics, (Unpublished Essay submitted as I. B. Extended paper, 1990), 11.

42. Ibid., 16.

43. The Canadian Nationalist Party, Canadian Nationalist Party: Its Aims and Objectives, pamphlet for general distribution, (Winnipeg: The Canadian Nationalist Party, 1930s).

44. “Local Nazis Distribute Obscene pamphlets.” Israelite Press, 24 July 1936, 2.

45. The Canadian Nationalist, (Winnipeg) Aug. 1937, 1.

46. The Canadian Nationalist, (Winnipeg) Jan. 1938, 1.

47. J. N. Sturk, Evil Elders of Zion, (Winnipeg) Oct. 1934, 1.

48. Deutsche Bund is German for German League.

49. Betcherman, 73.

50. “Pro Nazi Paper has Direct Connection to Hitler Official,” Winnipeg Tribune, 11 Jan. 1939, 1.

51. Harry Gutkin, Journey Into Our Heritage, (Toronto: Lester and Orphen Dennys Publishers, 1980), 212.

52. Rome, 5:55.

53. “Nazi Leader in Winkler Denies Affiliation With Nazi Germany.” Israelite Press, 2 Sept. 1937, 1.

54. Betcherman, 66.

55. Israelite Press, 11 May 1937, 1.

56. Israelite Press, 10 Oct. 1939, 1.

57. Israelite Press, 6 June 1934, 1.

58. Betcherman, 71.

59. Earlier Beamish was the star witness for the South African Green Shirts. The Green Shirts were accused of spreading anti-Semitism. The defendants attempted to justify themselves with the introduction of anti-Semitic material in which they blamed the Jews for the ills of the world. One of their star witnesses was Beamish. From: Rome 5, 33.

60. Rome, 5, 55.

61. “Victoria Beach Anti-Semitism.” Editorial, The Free Press, (Winnipeg) 17 Aug. 1943, 9.

62. The Free Press, 3 Apr. 1943, as quoted in Abella and Troper, None is Too Many, 139.

63. Winnipeg Tribune, 11 Jan. 1938.

64. “Pro Nazi Paper Has Direct link To Hitler Official.” Israelite Press, 11 Jan. 1939, 1.

65. “Major Condemns Fascists and Communists.” Free Press, 21 Feb. 1934, 1.

66. Betcherman, 69.

67. Ibid., 71.

68. Israelite Press, 2 June 1942, 2.

69. “Import of Anti-Semitic Literature to Canada Prohibited.” Israelite Press, 17 March 1944, 1.

70. When Jews were described as “Filthy parasites” by the German Bund newspaper the Tribune reprinted the article under a head-line which screamed “Zeitung Article Slaps at Britain” and in smaller letters “is anti-Semitic.” (Jan. 17 1939). An editorial the next day left out any mention of the anti-Semitism of the Zeitung newspaper, denouncing anti-British sentiments. (18 Jan. 1939).

71. Betcherman, 66.

72. Ibid., 68.

73. The Manitoba Medical Review, (vol. 26, May 1946), 317.

74. Betcherman, 74.

75. Gutkin, 210.

76. Later in the late 1960s Winnipeg saw an outbreak of anti-Semitism with a string of anti-Semitic incidents: swastikas were sprayed, synagogues desecrated, Jewish cemeteries destroyed and some Jews even beaten. Anti-Semitic incidents occurred regularly and continue to occur today. In February of 1995 a Jewish high school was spray-painted with swastikas and the message, “Die Jew.”

Page revised: 25 July 2016

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