“In telling these stories, the writers have liberated themselves. For so many years we did not speak about it, even when we became free people living in a free society. Now, when at last we are writing about what happened to us in this dark period of history, knowing that our stories will be read and live on allows us to feel truly free.”
-David J. Azrieli, C.M., C.Q., M.Arch.
Holocaust survivor and philanthropist
The Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program was established by the Azrieli Foundation in 2005 to collect, preserve and share the memoirs and diaries written by survivors of the twentieth-century Nazi genocide of the Jews of Europe who later made their way to Canada. The program is guided by the conviction that such stories play an important role in education about tolerance and diversity.
The Azrieli Series memoirs – each one of them a unique first-person account – are moving tributes to people who risked their lives to help others. More than half a century later, the diversity of stories allows readers to put a face on what was lost, and to grasp the enormity of what happened to six million Jews – one story at a time.
The memoirs – published in English and French under the imprint of The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs – are distributed free of charge to libraries, educational institutions across Canada, and are for sale at bookstores. E-book versions will be available in the near future. The program’s professional editorial and research staff fact-check the accounts and offer readers supplementary material, such as user-friendly glossaries, introductions written by experts, and maps.
International Advisory Council for the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program:
- Doris Bergen, Chancellor Rose and Ray Wolfe Chair in Holocaust Studies, University of Toronto
- Sara R. Horowitz, Director of the Israel & Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies, York University
- Nechama Tec, Professor Emerita of Sociology, University of Connecticut
- Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate, Jerusalem