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.

Alberta Scotties Tournament of Hearts

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

School demolition brings up memories

Darlene ‘Dar’ Hastings couldn’t wait to attend the new 100 Mile High when it opened in 1960.

Volunteering ‘best way to expand your bubble’

Val Severin serves the community as a way to give back

Old Timers Hockey league seeks players

The Old Timers Hockey Association is looking for players and increased community… Continue reading

Work begins on Clinton seniors’ living facility

Work has recently begun on a 20-bed seniors’ living facility in Clinton.

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

Horgan, Wilkinson trade barbs over MSP premiums, health care at campaign stops

Horgan called a snap election for Oct. 24 earlier this week

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

2 British Columbians arrested, 3 at large in massive Alberta drug bust

Eight people are facing 33 charges in what police have dubbed Project Incumbent

Most Read