I remember my first experience with anti-Semitism in Toronto playing football for my very Jewish high school against an inner city school, facing some players with swastikas on their helmets. I think that was the only team we ever beat. We were not very good but were highly motivated that day.
I had no problem recognizing anti-Semitism – the swastikas being obvious – but more so because my Dutch Jewish mother survived the war in hiding in Holland, and my siblings and I, early on in our lives, were made very aware of her suffering and of her distaste for anything German. As an adult, I spent much of my surgical career at two wonderful Jewish hospitals, Mount Sinai in Toronto and the Jewish General in Montreal, whose existence was born out of the prejudices that prevented Jewish doctors from obtaining hospital positions in Toronto and Montreal in the 1930s. [Read more…]