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By Ted Barris

At the evening of March 24, 1944, eighty Commonwealth airmen crawled via a 336-foot-long tunnel and slipped into the woodland past the twine of Stalag Luft III, a German POW compound close to Sagan, Poland. the development turned often called "The nice Escape," an complex breakout greater than a yr within the making, concerning as many as 2,000 POWs operating with remarkable co-ordination, intelligence, and bold. but inside a couple of days, all yet 3 of the escapees have been recaptured. therefore, fifty have been murdered, cremated, and buried in a distant nook of the legal camp.

But such a lot don t recognize the true tale at the back of the nice get away. Now, at the eve of its seventieth anniversary, Ted Barris writes of the foremost avid gamers within the get away try, those that bought away, those that didn't, and their households at home.Barris marshals groundbreaking study right into a compelling firsthand account. For the 1st time, "The nice get away: A Canadian Story" retells the most impressive episodes in WWII at once throughout the eyes of these who skilled it.

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On one side there were those, especially in the Jewish establishment, who advocated a moderate and incremental approach to solving the problem of antisemitism – working with likeminded groups, opinion leaders, educators, and the media to educate and lobby government for legislative remedies and, to whatever degree possible, avoiding the politics of confrontation. On the other side were those more at a distance from the Jewish establishment – including those identified with immigrant and Yiddishist groups and those 34 The Defining Decade with a more radical bent – who chafed at what they regarded as the Jewish establishment’s ‘cap in hand’ sha shtil (hush hush) approach to combating antisemitism.

2 But, for the most part, Jews in Quebec and French Canadians continued to view one another from opposite sides of a wall built of historical, linguistic, religious, and institutional difference. Nor was this the only wall that divided Montreal Jews from others. Montreal Jews also felt cordoned off from an economically dominant, English-speaking and Protestant establishment widely regarded as tainted by deep-seated antipathy to Jews, which was returned in kind. Thus, Montreal Jews understood themselves as forming a separate estate not just from French Canadians but from other English-speaking Montrealers, an estate Mordecai Richler described as ‘an almost self contained world.

Many Canadian Jews had American family and vacationed in the United States. 31 It has been commonly offered that there is no substantive difference between the Canadian and American Jewish communities, or at least none that time would not eliminate. Ca- 22 The Defining Decade nadian Jews, it has often been said, are just American Jews one generation removed. If Canadian Jews prove a little more ‘Jewish’ than their American cousins, if they still retain a lingering closeness to old-world Yiddishkeit and tend to be more traditional in religious observance, all that can be assumed as temporary.

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