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

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Cyclist braking stigma on addiction from coast to coast

Mathew Fee aims at world record for longest distance on BMX bike while sharing his story of recovery

VIDEO: Alberta man creates world’s biggest caricature

Dean Foster is trying to break the world record for a radio show contest

Kirkland Signature veggie burgers recalled due to possible metal fragments

Recalled products came in 1.7 kg packages with a best before date of Apr. 23, 2019

Chaos at the ferry terminal for people heading from Vancouver to the Island

Easter crowds create backlog at Tsawwassen ferry terminal

Parents of 13 who tortured children get life after hearing victims

One of their daughters fled their home and pleaded for help to a 911 operator

Flooding, climate change force Quebecers to rethink relationship with water

Compensation for victims of recurring floods limit to 50% of a home’s value, or a maximum of $100,000

Storms blast South, where tornadoes threaten several states

9.7 million people in the Carolinas and Virginia at a moderate risk of severe weather

Private cargo ship brings Easter feast to the space station

There are three Americans two Russians and one Canadian living on the space station

Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit

The fire burned through the lattice of oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling

Northwest B.C. leaders divided over oil tanker ban

Senate hearings in Prince Rupert and Terrace show Bill C-48 is at a crossroads

Most Read