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

Reports of gunshots

No shooting according to RCMP

Better COVID-19 testing results needed in the north

Former senior Northern Health official also wants work camps shut down

Social media a blessing and a curse during time of crisis: B.C. communication expert

‘In moments of crisis, fear is very real and palpable,’ says SFU’s Peter Chow-White

Northern Health preparing ‘for a changing situation’ in response to COVID-19

The health authority is taking a number of measures to free up hospital capacity where possible

B.C. COVID-19 contact restrictions working, Dr. Bonnie Henry says

’Not out of the woods yet’ as next two weeks are critical

Canada expands 75% wage subsidy to COVID-19 affected businesses of all sizes: Trudeau

Program will provide up to $847 per week for each worker

LifeLabs reducing public hours as it assists with COVID-19 testing

Coronavirus tests not done at B.C. patient centres, referrals only

24,000 Canadian Forces members ready for COVID-19 response: Defence Minister

No direct requests made by premiers yet, national defence minister says

IN DEPTH: How B.C. emptied its hospitals to prepare for COVID-19

Thousands of beds have been freed up, but patients and seniors have had to sacrifice

‘Nothing concrete’: Tenants, landlords lack details after B.C. unveils COVID-19 rental aid

Single mom in Golden says she’s already going to the food bank after being laid off

B.C. is seeing the highest rate of COVID-19 recovery in Canada, and there’s a few reasons why

British Columbia was one of the first to see rise in COVID-19 cases, and has also switched up testing

World COVID-19 morning update: Olympics delayed one year; 12,000 health care workers infected

Comprehensive world news update: Lockdown in UK showing signs of hope

Newspapers are safe to touch, World Health Organization confirms

Just make sure to wash your hands as you would after touching any surface or object

Most Read