This virtual exhibit was produced by the Montreal Holocaust Museum with the support of the Virtual Museum of Canada Investment Program to present the history of the immigration of Holocaust survivors to Canada. Visitors will learn about the history of the Holocaust and Canadian immigration between 1933 and 1955 using a map and timelines. Through oral history videos and personal photographs, they will discover the life stories of individuals who survived Nazi persecution and rebuilt their lives in communities across Canada.

Building New Lives presents the oral history videos of 20 Holocaust survivors who arrived in Canada before, during, and after the Second World War. The virtual exhibit showcases, for the first time together, a collection of testimonies recorded by Canadian organisations since the 1970s, including the Montreal Holocaust Museum, the Sarah and Chaim Neuberger Holocaust Education Centre (Toronto), the Ontario Jewish Archives (Toronto), the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada (Winnipeg), and the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre.

Photographs were obtained through several archives within Canada and the United States, as well as the personal collections of Holocaust survivors and their families who generously shared their pictures and stories for use in this exhibit.


About the Montreal Holocaust Museum

The Montreal Holocaust Museum educates people of all ages and backgrounds about the Holocaust, while sensitizing the public to the universal perils of antisemitism, racism, hate and indifference. Through its exhibitions, commemorative programs and educational initiatives, the Museum promotes respect for diversity and the sanctity of human life. The Museum (formerly the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre) was founded in 1976 and is the only recognised Holocaust museum in Canada.

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The background image of the Building New Lives exhibit is a photograph taken in 1950 at Pier 21 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. This “Welcome Home” sign was the first view for newcomers to Canada. Source: Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 (DI2013.1027.1)