Canada and the Holocaust

A Brief History of Canada and the Holocaust

While Canada did not directly experience the Holocaust, it was affected in many ways by the tragedy. Learn more about Canada’s history and response to the Holocaust.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day (January 27)

On January 27, 1945, the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp – where more than one million people were sent to gas chambers and to their agonizing deaths during the Holocaust – was liberated. In 2005, that day was designated as the annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust. Each year, Canadians and individuals all over the world take this opportunity to remember the victims of the atrocities of the Holocaust and reflect on the dangers of anti-Semitism.

In 2015, Canada and the international community marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. The Government of Canada commemorated this day at a special ceremony that brought together government officials, religious leaders and Holocaust survivors. Learn more about the 70th anniversary and what the world can learn from the Holocaust, in an effort to stay vigilant against such inhumanity now and in the future.

Canadian Chair Year

Canada and the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) is an intergovernmental body made up of government officials and experts from 31 countries. It supports Holocaust education, remembrance and research in member countries and around the world. Canada chaired IHRA from March 2013 to March 2014.

Canadian Holocaust Resources

Canada has invested significantly in Holocaust education, remembrance and research.

For more information:

Photo credits:

  • Based on Lieut. H. Gordon Aikman, Canada. Dept. of National Defence, Library and Archives Canada, accession number 1967-052 NPC, item 43534, PA-138238
  • The MS St. Louis, Courtesy Eiran Harris collection, Canadian Jewish Congress Charities Committee, National Archives


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