Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

Michael Kent, curator of the Jacob M. Lowy collection, displays the German language book “Statistics, Media and Organizations of Jewry in the United States and Canada,” Wednesday January 23, 2019 in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)

Canada’s national archive has acquired a rare book it believes could have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge of Jews in North America.

Once part of Adolf Hitler’s personal library, the 1944 volume reports on the Jewish population of various cities as well as key organizations and newspapers serving Canadian and American Jewish communities.

The 137-page German-language book, “Statistics, Media, and Organizations of Jewry in the United States and Canada,” was compiled by researcher Heinz Kloss, who did field work in the U.S. in the late 1930s.

The research was carried out for the Nazi regime and hints at what might have happened in North America if the Allies had lost the Second World War, Library and Archives Canada says.

The book lists general population figures, as well as the number of Jews, in dozens of Canadian cities large and small, from Vancouver to Glace Bay, N.S. It also details ethnic backgrounds and the languages people spoke.

READ MORE: New book provides insight into Nazi Germany

“This information would have been the building blocks to rolling out the Final Solution in Canada, allowing perpetrators of the Holocaust to know what cities to go to to find Jewish people and how many Jews to round up,” said Michael Kent, a curator at Library and Archives Canada.

Given the horrors that transpired in Europe, targets would also likely have included any racial minority, gays and lesbians, Indigenous Peoples and others considered problematic in Nazi eyes, Kent told a news conference Wednesday.

Library and Archives hopes the book becomes a tool for fighting Holocaust denial and a means of remembering the slaughter of innocent millions in Europe.

The bookplate features a stylized eagle, swastika and the words Ex Libris Adolf Hitler, indicating it came from the Nazi leader’s collection.

An American soldier likely plucked the volume from Hitler’s library at his alpine retreat near Berchtesgaden, as thousands of books were taken as war souvenirs in 1945, Library and Archives says.

The Canadian institution bought the book for about $6,000 from a reputable dealer who obtained it as part of a collection owned by a Holocaust survivor, Kent said. The dealer, who trades exclusively in Judaica, was keen to see the volume go to a Jewish institution or another appropriate memory institution.

While the book is “certainly a creepy item,” the decision to buy it was a simple one, Kent said. Preserving the memory of the Holocaust was more of a concern than “the possibility that someone might think we’re glorifying Hitler through this acquisition.”

It is important to assemble the most complete historical record possible, no matter how contentious or controversial, said Guy Berthiaume, Librarian and Archivist of Canada.

“We don’t, and we shouldn’t, choose only those records that portray past events in a positive light,” he said.

Kent said there is no evidence Kloss visited Canada, but he developed strong ties with American Nazi sympathizers and clearly accessed secondary sources in his research. The book includes the 1931 Census of Canada and the 1937 Report of the Immigration Branch among its Canadian references.

The fragile volume, printed on wartime paper, required extensive restoration work before it could be handled and displayed, Kent said.

Jim Bronskill , The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Island residents team up on beach cleanups, call for government regulation

‘It’s way beyond what we can deal with’: Lasqueti, Texada, Denman islanders

‘A really kind person’: Parksville’s Nick Major remembered by instructor

Outpouring of support in the days following death of young man

Banners could add pop of colour to Parksville business district

District includes businesses between the Orange Bridge and McVickers Street

Last call for the ever-vanishing payphone in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Where many phones once resided, only memories remain

Developers go back to drawing board after high-rise application deferred by Parksville council

IAG Developments has proposed a multi-building development on city’s waterfront

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Recall: Certain Pacific oysters may pose threat of paralytic shellfish poisoning

Consumers urged to either return affected packages or throw them out

How a Kamloops-born man helped put us on the moon

Jim Chamberlin did troubleshooting for the Apollo program, which led to its success

Sexual harassment complaints soaring amid ‘frat boy culture’ in Canada’s airline industry

‘It’s a #MeToo dumpster fire…and it’s exhausting for survivors’

Most Read