Canada’s national library has acquired a book owned by Adolf Hitler that shows his plans for Jewish people living in Canada and the US. The book shows what could have happened if World War II ended differently.
Canada’s national library and archive has acquired a book previously owned by Adolf Hitler which contains detailed Jewish population data, as well as information on key organizations and media for Canadian and American Jewish communities.
Library and Archives Canada said the 137-page German-language book, Statistics, Media, and Organizations of Judaism in the United States and Canada, demonstrates that the Holocaust was not purely a European event, but rather an operation that was stopped before it reached North America.
The bookplate bears a stylized eagle, swastika and the words “Ex Libris Adolf Hitler” indicating it came from Hitler’s personal library.
The book was compiled in 1944 by Heinz Kloss, a German linguist who was responsible for producing official and scholarly information used by the Nazi regime. He was head of the Publications Office Stuttgart-Hamburg that dealt with research on nationality issues, particularly in the US.
Kloss specialized in German speakers living in the US and had contacts with Nazi sympathizers there. He visited the country between 1936 and 1937.
Libraries and Archives Canada said its acquisition of the book helped “to preserve the memory of the Holocaust” and “is also a way to let us reflect on what would have happened in Canada had the Second World War ended differently.”
More than 6 million Jews and millions of others were murdered during the Holocaust between 1941 and 1945.
‘Confirmation of the fears felt’
The archive said it had acquired the book from a reputable Judaica dealer who had obtained it as part of a collection owned by a Holocaust survivor.
Rebecca Margolis, a University of Ottawa professor and president of the Association for Canadian Jewish Studies, said the book confirmed the fears held by Canadian Jews during World War II.
“This invaluable report offers a documented confirmation of the fears felt so acutely and expressed by so many Canadian Jews during the Second World War: that the Nazis would land on our shores and with them, the annihilation of Jewish life here,” Margolis said.
“While these fears may seem unfounded given the geographic distance of Nazi Europe to Canada, this handbook offering detailed statistics of Jewish populations across North America underlines their nightmarish potential,” she added.