See more of the Virtual Museum of Canada

Before the War
The Holocaust
Displaced Persons Camps
Where Can We Go?
The Journey
Welcome to Canada
New Lives
Canadian Immigration Overview
IV. Life as a Refugee
One day one of the boys came to tell me that he had noticed a survivor named Josef Gluck posted on one of the lists. "Could he be your father?" he asked. It was the dream and fervent hope of everyone who made it through the concentration camps that by some miracle they would find at least one member of their family alive.

Word spread quickly in the camp. Everyone was excited to learn of the outcome — everyone except me. I could not understand what the fuss was about. I knew my father was a decent man and that he deserved to live, but I was unable to care about anybody at that time. When we finally met I could hardly recognize him. The old dirty jacket he was wearing hung half empty on him. His bony shoulders were bent over from the strain of starvation and suffering. I could see that he had difficulty standing. I recognized his sparkling eyes that radiated with happiness when he saw me. He hugged me and began to cry. I could not understand why he was crying. Many in the crowd were crying as well — but not me. I was standing like a log when my father hugged me. I was completely devoid of any emotion or feelings. My father was still holding me when I realized something was wrong with me.
more... »    
Bill's Map
I. Satu Mare, Romania
II. Auschwitz & Muhldorf
III. At Liberation
IV. Life as a Refugee
V. Sailing to Canada
VI. Becoming Canadian
Concentration Camps
The Nazis established prison camps shortly after assuming power in 1933 to hold and isolate political opponents and those considered to be "racially" undesirable such as Jews and Gypsies. Most of the approximately 1800 camps were transit or labour camps. The first were Dachau, Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen. After the occupation of Poland, extermination camps were established for mass murder at Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka, Sobibor, Belzec, Chelmno and Majdanek.