The new Toronto Holocaust Museum — which officially opened its doors on Friday — features exhibits designed to tell the stories of Holocaust survivors and highlight the impact they have had on Canadian society.
Historical artifacts on display at the museum include a Torah scroll saved from a burning synagogue in Germany by a Catholic priest during Kristallnacht. In 1945, the priest encountered a Jewish U.S. Army chaplain, Gunther Plaut, in the Bavarian city of Brand and gave him the scroll.
Rabbi Plaut transported it across Europe and back to the United States in a bazooka case, and ultimately brought it with him when he took the pulpit at Holy Blossom Temple in Toronto in 1961.
Another item that can be seen by visitors is one of the transit visas issued by the late “Righteous Among the Nations” hero Chiune Sugihara when he was stationed as a Japanese diplomat stationed in Lithuania during World War II.
Sugihara’s visas enabled thousands of European Jews to escape from the Nazis, a courageous deed honored by the Combat Antisemitism Movement at a special virtual event two years ago.
The Toronto Holocaust Museum is a department of the UJA Federation of Greater Toronto.