Arrival in Calgary as a War Orphan

In this video, Elliott Zuckier talks about his welcome to Calgary through the War Orphans Project. The family that Elliott stayed with owned a factory, and offered him a job within days of his arrival.   Source: USC Shoah Foundation, 1995



Video begins with inter-title in white text on black screen while instrumental music plays and fades into the next frame: Elliott Zuckier was one of very few youth who arrived in Calgary as part of Canada's War Orphans Project in 1948.



Cut to Holocaust survivor Elliott Zuckier, sitting in his living room, and looking to the left of the camera. The camera shows his face and shoulders as he speaks during an interview conducted in Calgary in 1995. Instrumental music continues.

>> Elliott Zuckier: There was a family waiting for me, no questions asked.



The name “Elliott Zuckier” and the location of the filmed interview, “Calgary”, appear in white text above Elliott's left shoulder. Instrumental music fades.

>> In fact, before even we went to their house, they took us into stores. They had stores and they gave us clothing, because we came with junk, you know. They gave us a certain amount of clothes, a certain amount of shoes.



Cut to black-and-white photograph showing Elliott as a young man looking into the camera. The photo caption appears in white text on the left side of the frame, “Elliott Zuckier, Calgary, 1948”.

>> The people that I stayed with…



Change to another black-and-white photograph showing Elliott Zuckier walking down an aisle with a man on his left and a woman on his right. The photo caption appears in white text above the figures, “Elliott with Cecil and Ida Horwitz, 1949”.

>> … Cecil Horwitz and Ida; he and his father had owned a Calgary farm machinery.



Cut to Elliott Zuckier in front of the camera.

>> He actually didn't speak one word Yiddish, Jewish, and I didn't speak one word English. I knew “yes”, “no”, “alright”, “okay”. That's it. But his wife spoke a little Yiddish, so we talked. He had three little kids, 4, 5 and 7. So, over the weekend, I found out what his business is and he asked me: “Do you want to go to school? You know, you can.” They tried to explain to me and the people came from the Congress, Mrs. Perlman, and they explained to me my options and what I want to do, and I don't have to worry. I went down on Sunday to see his factory. He took me down to show me the business, you know – there was making part, selling part. So I said: “That's it. If you want me to work here, I'll come and work for you.” I knew a little bit from the camp, a drill, a sander, this and that, I said, “I'll work here.” So, Monday I went to work. I came Friday, by Monday I was already an employee. 



Music plays for the remainder of the video. Three credit pages appear in white text on black screen: Interview conducted by Riki Heilig, Calgary, 1995, USC Shoah Foundation

Images: Elliott Zuckier Family Collection

Directing: Helgi Piccinin; Editing and Colorization: Michaël Gravel, Helgi Piccinin; Audio Mix and Original Music: Pierre-Luc Lecours. [Logo for Chaire de recherche du Canada en patrimoine ethnologique]

Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre, copyright 2017.



End of transcript.

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