Rachel G.

Aurora, Ontario


Finding My Place in Canadian History: Uncovering My Past

My project consists of a video showcasing the lives of members of my family and the eye opening events that they faced in international societies as well as on Canadian soil. Throughout my story, I incorporate historical thinking concepts into my work, which aid in the understanding of the contrasts in global society and culture throughout the Second World War era and the present.


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

The most interesting thing that I learned about my topic is that survival for my ancestors throughout the Second World War depended not on logic or merit, but often solely on luck. An example of this would be my great grandmother Ilse Obar's escape from certain death at the Kaiserwald concentration camp. In 1945, Nazi officers at this camp grew fearsome of impending Allied attacks, and transferred inmates from their camp to Stutthof based on age. Ilse narrowly escaped death by being 25 years old.

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

From looking back into my family's past and noticing the connections made between people of conflicting descent ⁠— Jewish and Nazi German ⁠— I have learned that every person in the world is capable of overcoming political views to come together in peace. Knowing this, I am confident that current tensions can be resolved as well.

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

My life is far more comfortable and safe than that of my ancestors'. Although world conflict continues today, I feel that I am quite lucky to live in a safe country with many opportunities available to me concerning my future.