From LCMSDS Productions, The On War & Society podcast features interviews with the most prominent historians of war and society. Host Eric Story sits down with his guests to discuss their cutting-edge research, the challenges associated with doing history, and life ‘behind the book.’

On War & Society #26: Nazis, Canadian Jews and the Second World War

Jewish people are traditionally depicted as victims in the Second World War literature. This should come as no surprise, as six million Jews were killed at the hands of the Nazis during the Holocaust. Ellin Bessner, in her new book Double Threat, insists that at least in the case of Jewish Canadians, they were not just victims of the war but also active players in the eventual victory of the Allies against Germany and the Axis powers during the Second World War. Canadian Jews enlisted at the same proportional rates as the rest of Canada and served valiantly and bravely in the face of an enemy that not only wanted to see them defeated in battle but exterminated from the face of the earth.


Irving Abella and Harold Troper. None is Too Many: Canada and the Jews of Europe, 1933–1948. Toronto: Lester & Orpen Dennys, 1983.

Ellin Bessner. Double Threat: Canadian Jews, the Military and World War II. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2018.

Past Episodes

Episode #1–The War Junk Historian with Alex Souchen

Episode #2–Somewhere Between War and Society with Terry Copp

Episode #3–Complicating History with Mary Chaktsiris

Episode #4–Canada’s Arctic Laboratory with Matthew Wiseman

Episode #5–Did You Fall Into the Vimy Trap? with Geoff Hayes

Episode #6–Dunkirk with Terry Copp

Episode #7–The Conscripted with Patrick Dennis

Episode #8–In Search of the Canadian Officer with Geoff Hayes

Episode #9–Treating Wounds of the Mind with Meghan Fitzpatrick

Episode #10–Destruction and Dissent in the Marshall Islands with Martha Smith-Norris

Episode #11–Civil War and Identity with Alec Maavara

Episode #12–A Microhistory of an Ace with Graham Broad

Episode #13–Family at the Front with Kristine Alexander

Episode #14–Rewriting the Great War with Mark Humprhies

Episode #15–Unpacking the Trauma Kit, Part I with Amy Milne-Smith

Episode #16–Unpacking the Trauma Kit, Part II with Amy Milne-Smith

Episode #17–Why Military Families Matter, Part I with Geoffrey Hayes

Episode #18–Why Military Families Matter, Part II with Geoffrey Hayes

Episode #19–How to Write 7,000 Words in a Week with Tim Cook

Episode #20–Uncovering the Secret History of Soldiers with Tim Cook

Episode #21–Rural Canada at War with Jonathan Vance

Episode #22–Shell Shock with Mark Humphries

Episode #23–Stalin’s Gulag with Wilson Bell

Episode #24–Ambitions Unrealized with Linda Quiney

Special–D-Day in 14 Stories with Elliot Halpern

Episode #25–Ted Barris and the Dam Busters

Contact Information

Matt Baker, Senior Research Associate and Centre Coordinator
[email protected]
(519) 884-0710 ext. 2080

Business Hours
Monday to Friday: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Saturday to Sunday: Closed

Mailing Address
Wilfrid Laurier University
75 University Avenue West
Waterloo, ON, Canada
N2L 3C5

Physical Address
232 King St. N. Waterloo, ON

Back to Top