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50 - 950 West 41st Ave,
Vancouver BC, V5Z 2N7 Canada

P: 604.264.0499
F: 604.264.0497
E: info@vhec.org


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"Enemy Aliens": The Internment of
Jewish Refugees in Canada, 1940-1943

The “Enemy Aliens” website explores a little-known chapter of Canadian history through artefacts and eyewitness testimony.

Featured on the website is a comprehensive teaching resource, the Learning Object Collection, which was developed in partnership with Dr. Peter Seixas, Director of UBC’s Centre for the Study of Historical Consciousness. The Learning Object Collection includes exhibit-based lesson plans and educational tools, which facilitate student engagement with historical context and primary source materials. This teaching resource was developed as part of the Virtual Museum of Canada’s Teacher’s Centre, an online space in which educators can access engaging historical content for classroom use. The website is also an interactive space in which former internees, their families and their friends can contribute stories and source materials related to internment, making the website a living historical document.

The VHEC gratefully acknowledges the financial investment by the Department of Canadian Heritage in the creation of this online presentation for the Virtual Museum of Canada.
Funded by the Canadian Heritage Information Network and produced in partnership with 7th Floor Media at Simon Fraser University.

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More than just games:
canada & the 1936 olympics

The website presents the exhibits as an educational opportunity for students of Canadian history and as a model for developing historical thinking. Five lessons encourage students to critically examine the history of the 1936 Games and Canada's response to Nazism.

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Nuremberg image

Over 60 years after the Allies established the International Military Tribunal to try Nazi leaders for their roles in the systematic murder of millions of people during the Holocaust and Second World War, the Nuremberg trials stand as a watershed moment in the ongoing pursuit of international justice. The Nuremberg exhibit traces the history of the trials, highlighting their accomplishments, controversies and legacies, and considers human rights issues that demand response and resolve from the international community today.

The online Nuremberg exhibit offers access to primary documents related to the pursuit of justice in the aftermath the Holocaust. Accompanying classroom support material guides student discussion and activities about the Nuremberg trials and their ongoing implications.

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Lawyers without rights:
Canadian Stories

For the presentation of the exhibit, the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre has developed supplementary panels that document the experiences of Jewish lawyers in Nazi-occupied Europe whose families came to British Columbia during or after the Holocaust.

Sussel Oberlander boraks
Samuel Sussel Fritz Oberlander Stanislaw Boraks

Open Hearts – Closed Doors

Following World War II, a group of young Jewish orphans immigrated to Canada from the devastation of Europe. Open Hearts - Closed Doors: The War Orphans Project is an online teaching exhibit that chronicles the lives of these orphans as they emerged from the events of the Holocaust into displaced person camps and eventually to new lives in Canada. This multimedia website uses the orphans' own words and artefacts as well as primary documents and photographs to provide students with a powerful learning experience about the Holocaust and the broader history of Canadian immigration during the 20th Century.

The site provides extensive support for students and teachers in middle and secondary school, social studies and language arts classrooms. The teacher's guide, web links, maps, biblio-videographies and pop-up glossary terms can be browsed online or downloaded as printable classroom materials. The bilingual site offers French teachers a valuable new resource for Holocaust Education.

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Canada Responds to the Holocaust, 1944 – 1945

Canada Responds to the Holocaust, 1944-1945 is a CD-Rom Powerpoint presentation designed for use in Canadian high school classrooms. The project has been timed to appear on the 60th anniversary of the end of the war, which offers educators a significant “teaching moment.”

The presentation is divided into four parts. The first is an introduction to the Holocaust, the second is devoted to Canadian soldiers’ encounter with the Holocaust, especially in northern Europe, and the third examines two types of communicators of the event, journalists and artists (including Alex Colville, Aba Bayefsky and Jack Shadbolt). The final section deals with the information‘s reception on the home front.

Each section includes questions for discussion, with additional notes for teachers. The CD incorporates text, photographs, reproductions of art, archival footage and interviews and is adaptable by the instructor.

For more information and to download the presentation please visit: www.canadaresponds.ca

Faces of Loss: Remembering Those Who Perished

Faces of Loss: Remembering Those Who Perished is an exhibit that focuses on the victims of the Holocaust, whose families later immigrated to Canada and now live in Vancouver. Survivor and other Vancouver families contributed the precious few pre-war photographs that they had of some of their family members who were lost during the Holocaust. In many cases, no photographs remain of those who perished. The exhibit serves to remember and mourn these victims, while restoring the human, personal element to what has become an abstraction of numbers. The exhibit, originally on exhibit at the VHEC in Spring, 2005 has been adapted to the web as a way of continuing the process of commemoration.

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rhodes and the holocaust: one survivors story

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Jews had lived on the island of Rhodes in the Aegean Sea for over 2,300 years. Ninety percent of the Jewish population of Rhodes perished during the Holocaust. This online exhibit presents the testimony of a Vancouver-based survivor from the island, Rosa Israel Ferrara.

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Touching Hearts Engaging Minds

Touching Hearts and Engaging Minds depicts the efforts of the VHEC, since its founding in 1994, to fulfil its mandate of "remembrance through education."  Featuring interviews with volunteers, survivors, staff members, teachers and students, the film elaborates on the impact that outreach programs such as the Symposia on the Holocaust and the Shafran Teachers' Conference as well as educational resources such as the library and teachers' guides have on local Holocaust and anti-racism education. The film also surveys past museum exhibits of the VHEC that span broad subject matter dealing with the cultural ramifications of the Holocaust.

Watch the video