The holocaust was the avoidable genocide of millions of “undesirable” citizens just because they were Jewish. Canada made egotistical decisions that lead to the death of thousands of Jews, which could have been prevented. Canada was a contributor to the holocaust and enabled Hitler to think his crimes were justifiable. Canadian politicians valued the strength of their economy over people lives, were anti-Semitic, and made Hitler feel like his views were unanimously agreed with and that his crimes were admissible.
Canada didn’t want to accept refugees because they thought it would be bad for the economy. Canada thought that all of the Jews would be cheap labor, thereby drive the wages down. This would mean that the majority of people living in Canada would be affected by the income would drop, making it harder to support a family. This was especially scary for people who are just recovering from the Great Depression and had lived through ten years of economic hardship.
Canada also thought that taking in Jewish refugees would mean that there would be more competition. More job competition would mean that existing Canadian citizens would have to compete for job with Jewish refugees. The Jewish refugees would work for less than the Canadians, which wouldn’t be appealing for the Canadians. In the 1930’s, Canada was largely anti-Semitic and Prime Minister Mackenzie King didn’t necessarily agree with them, but he just wanted to keep the country united and keep both Ontario and Quebec happy.
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Mackenzie King’s biggest focus was keeping the citizens of Canada on his side. He wanted to make sure he would stay in office by doing what the people of Canada wanted. The Jews were given the lowest tier immigration. They were considered less desirable and it was almost impossible for Jews to get into Canada. Canada wanted to bring in farmers to help feed the population and they wanted to make use of the vast amount of land that they had. In order to enter Canada, immigrants would need to prove to the government that they had enough money.
The Jews had all of their possessions taken from them by the Nazis and therefore Canada wouldn’t let them in the Country. Canada thought if they let a couple of Jews come to Canada, then many more would try to follow. Canada’s unwillingness to take in Jewish immigrants further showed Hitler that his views were unanimously agreed upon. The “SS St. Louis” was a ship carrying 1000 Jewish refugees escaping from Germany and going from country to country trying to find a place that would accept them.
It travelled to Cuba, America, and Canada and was turned down by all of the countries. The US coast guard even fired warning shots to keep the ship away from Florida’s shores. The ship was eventually sailed back to Europe and the UK, Belgium, the Netherlands, and France absorbed the refugees. The Canadian government showed Hitler that they to didn’t want Jews in their country and further supported Hitler and contributed to the Holocaust. The Evian Conference was a meeting of 32 countries to discuss the increasing number of Jewish immigrants that were fleeing Nazi prosecution.
Hitler said “I can only hope and expect that the other world, which has such deep sympathy for these criminals [Jews], will at least be generous enough to convert this sympathy into practical aid. We, on our part, are ready to put all these criminals at the disposal of these countries, for all I care, even on luxury ships”. Even with Hitler saying that he would allow Jews to leave the conference was seen as a failure. The only country willing to accept a significant amount of refugees was Jamaica but only 800 made it.
This truly shows that Canada is a contributor to the holocaust and they didn’t assist the Jews. Canada was a contributor during the holocaust and chose not to help out the Jewish refugees and put a stop to the inexcusable extermination of millions. They valued the strength of their economy over everything, were anti-Semitic, and made Hitler feel like his views were agreed with. The Holocaust was one of the biggest calamities in human history and will go down in history as an event that could have been avoided if other countries such as Canada didn’t contribute to the massacre.
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