Role of Jewish-Cana­di­ans in war to be discussed

Ellin Bess­ner speak­ing at Peter­bor­ough syn­a­gogue on the day af­ter Re­mem­brance Day; her book tells the story of Peter­bor­ough’s Ro­gow broth­ers

The Peterborough Examiner - - LOCAL - JES­SICA NYZNIK EX­AM­INER STAFF WRITER jes­sica.nyznik @pe­ter­bor­oug­

A writer who penned a book about Jewish-Cana­di­ans serv­ing in the Sec­ond World War will be in the city Nov. 12.

Ellin Bess­ner is the au­thor of “Dou­ble Threat: Cana­dian Jews, The Mil­i­tary and World War II.”

In it, she tells the un­told sto­ries of how and why Canada’s Jewish com­mu­nity sent 17,000 men and women over­seas to de­feat Adolf Hitler and the Axis in the Sec­ond World War.

The au­thor and jour­nal­ist will be in the city a day af­ter Re­mem­brance Day, and in ad­vance of the 75th an­niver­sary of the lib­er­a­tion of Auschwitz in Jan­uary.

She’ll be selling signed books at the Beth Is­rael Syn­a­gogue and Com­mu­nity Cen­tre on Nov. 12 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Bess­ner spent six years re­search­ing, trav­el­ling and in­ter­view­ing more than 300 vet­er­ans and their fam­i­lies for her book.

Among those fam­i­lies, were three Ro­gow broth­ers from Peter­bor­ough. Royal Cana­dian Air Force Sgt. In­struc­tor Sam Ro­gow was killed in a plane crash in 1942 while train­ing other air­men in Que­bec. His name is on the Peter­bor­ough Ci­ti­zens War Me­mo­rial and Vet­er­ans Wall of Hon­our in Con­fed­er­a­tion Park. His brother Pte. Ralph Ro­gow served in Holland and Ger­many with the Royal Cana­dian Army, while an­other brother Alex Ro­gow served with United States forces.

Nearly 17,000 Jewish Cana­di­ans en­listed in ev­ery branch of the ser­vice, and in the mer­chant ma­rine.

Bess­ner shares who these Jewish-Cana­dian fight­ers were, why they went and what their lives were like as Jews in Canada, in the bar­racks and on the bat­tle­field.

They fought and died in ev­ery ma­jor bat­tle in­clud­ing Hong Kong, Dieppe, the Bat­tle of Bri­tain, the Bat­tle of the At­lantic, North Africa, Or­tona, DDay, Falaise, the Scheldt and through­out North­west Europe and in the Pa­cific.

More than 190 re­ceived mil­i­tary hon­ours of brav­ery and nearly 450 didn’t come home.

Ellin Bess­ner is the au­thor of “Dou­ble Threat.”

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