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Canadian Holocaust survivor dedicated to social justice and reconciliation releases new memoir

Press Release

TORONTO, Oct. 31, 2023  – As part of Holocaust Education Week 2023, the Azrieli Foundation’s Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program launched Hide and Seek: In Pursuit of Justice at the Isabel Bader Theatre on Oct. 30, 2023. Authored by respected social work educator Ben Carniol, the memoir is his story of survival and his response to it: a deep commitment to creating a safe and just society for all.

“It is a story full of love, tragedy, grief, loss, hope, power and healing in which kindness remains an important human trait,” says Minogiizhigokwe, Dr. Kathy Absolon, author of Kaandossiwin: How We Come to Know, Indigenous Re-Search Methodologies. “This is a story that draws the reader into a journey full of spirit, transformation and hope. I have a deep respect and love for the work of Ben Carniol. This memoir is well worth reading.”

The launch focused on two main components that shaped Carniol’s life: his survival and his later work with Indigenous communities in Canada.

“It is incredibly powerful to see how Ben was compelled to take action as a young adult,” says Jody Spiegel, Director of the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program. “After experiencing his own trauma, he was, and still is, committed to helping others who are facing their own traumas.”

Carniol, separated from his parents, survived the Holocaust in Baudour, Belgium, living with a non-Jewish couple active in the Belgian resistance. His parents were deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau. Carniol came to Canada as an orphan in 1947, where he united with extended family members in Ottawa, Ontario. Though young at the time, the loss he experienced and the violence he lived through instilled a deep, lifelong commitment to advocate for those facing injustices. In his new memoir, he writes about these experiences and where this commitment took him.

Hide and Seek: In Pursuit of Justice is now available at online book retailers. As part of the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program, a non-profit operated by the Azrieli Foundation, all revenues from the memoir sales go towards the program’s publishing and education work.

About the Azrieli Foundation:

With a firm belief that everyone has a contribution to make, the Azrieli Foundation has been opening doors, breaking ground, and nurturing networks for more than 30 years. The Foundation – the largest non-corporate foundation in Canada – funds institutions and operates programs in Canada and Israel. The Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program, one of the Azrieli Foundation programs, was established in 2005 to collect, preserve and share the memoirs and diaries written by survivors of the Holocaust who came to Canada. Learn more about the Azrieli Foundation:

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Rhea Singer, Communications Specialist, 416-322-5928 ext. 332,


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