Grayce M.

Warman, Saskatchewan

Saskatoon Regional Heritage Fair

My Opa's Escape from the Nazis During the Second World War

My heritage fair project is something that is very important part of my family history. My project is on how my Opa escaped from the Nazi’s during the Second World War and the rest of his adventures. Those adventures include how my Opa met my Grota Oma through hiding in a safe house, fighting in Java, Indonesia and how he brought his family to Canada in 1953.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

I found out a lot more about my family history and how it affected my life. I also learned about unfairness towards Jews and other people that were being treated badly by the Germans. Something else I found out was that it was partially a good thing that my Opa went to the work camp because if he didn't he wouldn't have had such a bad experience as he did and maybe would have stayed in Holland. If he stayed in Holland I would have never been born.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

I think one important lesson people in Canada could learn from my Opa is to never give up and there is always another way to look at things. Another lesson is that something good can always come out of a tough situation like when he escaped from the Nazis and then fought in the war which brought him to immigrate to Canada. My Opa brought many good things into this county because he was an educator and brought his knowledge into Canada.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

My ancestors did have the option to move away from Holland and move to Canada and if they didn't it would have completely changed the future which would be my life. My Opa chose the right decision because his family was for sure safe in Canada and it was a very free country. Canadaian's are very lucky to have a free country and have everyone treated the same and fairly.