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As the summer of 2020 comes to an end here in Canada, during the month of August we've marked many important historic military anniversaries: Hiroshima and Nagaski, the Battle of Britain, V-J Day 75, and today, August 19, the anniversary of the disastrous raid on Dieppe in 1942
However, little if no attention is being paid to the tens of thousands of Canadian soldiers who had just successfully liberated Sicily by August 17, 1943. 
In particular, we want to highlight a young Jewish medical student from Montreal's Snowdon neighbourhood: Lt. Mitchell Sterlin.
His bravery in the Italian Campaign made Sterlin a hero to The Royal Canadian Regiment, even to this day. 
He's got an Italian farm villa named after him, plus an important Canadian Army building at The RCR headquarters at CFB Petawawa, in Ontario.

Please read my latest story about why some officers still think Lt. Sterlin was "robbed" of Britain's most prestigious bravery medal.

 Sterlin's medals (replicas) in the Building that bears his name at Petawawa. (Pte. Robert Kingerski photo).
Read Lt. Mitchell Sterlin's story
Battle of Britain and the Canadian Jews who helped save England in 1940

I mentioned the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain is now. The Brits hold several ceremonies each year, including Sept. 15, Battle of Britain Day. Canada does, as well. If you missed my live talk about F/L William Henry Nelson, DFC of Montreal, on August 14, for the Royal Air Forces Association and Royal Air Force Museum on Canada's Jewish Hidden Heroes, the recording is here below. 
Veterans Affairs highlights Canadian women on new Remembrance Week posters

As well as Hidden Heroes in the Battle of Britian, Canada also had Hidden Heroines who helped win the Second World War. You can read more here about the 50,000 women who enlisted and wore a uniform, including my great-aunt Cpl. Daisy Friedberg (nee Lazare), a native of Quebec City.
Their efforts, and the behind-the-scenes work of women in factories, doing fundraising, and serving in Servicemen Centres, have for too long, been overshadowed. The Ontario Jewish Archives and the National Council of Jewish Women sponsored a webinar Aug. 6 to spotlight the important issue. I was one of the two historians. If you missed the live stream through, you can catch it again here. (Note: you have to register to unlock the video).
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Ellin Bessner · 951 Carlaw Avenue · Suite 149b · Toronto, Ontario, Ontario M4K3M2 · Canada

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