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Pieces of the Past: The Holocaust Diary of Rose Rabinowitz is the thirty-second book in the Dear Canada series. The book was written by Carol Matas and was her third entry in the series. It was published in February 2013 by Scholastic Canada. The book was followed by A Country of Our Own by Karleen Bradford.


"For my grandson, Kai David Brask, with love."

Book description[]

"January 14, 1940
Suddenly there is a loud pounding on the door. Papa tells us all to go into the kitchen and not to say anything, no matter what happens. We hurry into the kitchen.
I hear a loud, angry voice but I don't understand because he is not speaking Polish or Yiddish. Abe whispers, "Germans." Then there is the sound of crashing and loud noises. Mama does not cry this time. Her face is set and she holds on to me and Sophie tight so we can't open the door. A man in a uniform pushes the door open.



Historical Note[]


Main article: List of Pieces of the Past characters


Main article: Carol Matas




"First I would like to thank Dr. Allan Levine, author Fugitives of the Forest and Coming of Age, A History of the Jewish People of Manitoba. He was invaluable as a resource both in person and through his books, advising me on the entire manuscript. My husband Per Brask, as always, was my biggest support. Thank you to my editor, Sandy Bogart Johnston, who helped me navigate a particularly difficult story. And thank you to Dr. Dan Stone, who answered many of my questions about the historical note. Thank s also to Diane Kerner for her additional input.
There are two more books that I relied upon:
Open Your Hearts: The Story of the Jewish War Orphans of Canada by Fraidie Martz and The Redeemed Children: The Story of the Rescue of War Orphans by the Jewish Community of Canada by Ben Lappin. I'd also like to acknowledge the book by Belle Millo, called Voices of Winnipeg Holocaust Survivors, which I used extensively, and the online site Open Hearts Closed Doors from the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre. In fact, it was their website and the help of Frieda Miller, Executive Director of the Centre, that got me started on this story. Last, but certainly not least, I want to thank the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, especially the Jewish Historical Society of Western Canada, The Marion and Ed Vickar Jewish Museum of Western Canada and The Freeman Family Foundation Holocaust Education Centre. In particular, Stan Carbone helped me delve into the archives and sent me away with reams of original material about the orphans – their arrival in Winnipeg and how they got on after they arrived. I also was very lucky to have email correspondence via Stan with Jeanette Block, and to interview Frank Weinfeld about his experiences as a war orphan coming to Winnipeg."
"The publisher wishes to thank Barbara Hehner for her careful attention to the details, and Dr. Allan Levine for vetting the manuscript and providing his expertise regarding Jews in Manitoba, as well as the Resistance efforts during World War II."


  • The portrait on the cover is a detail of a photograph of a young girl, named Kaja Balagilo, provided by the Yad Vashem Musuem. The background is a 1943 photograph of a SS soldier standing in the Warsaw Ghetto during the suppression of the uprising.[11][12]


See also[]

Dear Canada

Orphan at My Door | A Prairie as Wide as the Sea | With Nothing But Our Courage | Footsteps in the Snow
A Ribbon of Shining Steel | Whispers of War | Alone in an Untamed Land | Brothers Far from Home | An Ocean Apart
A Trail of Broken Dreams | Banished from Our Home | Winter of Peril | Turned Away | The Death of My Country
No Safe Harbour | A Rebel's Daughter | A Season for Miracles | If I Die Before I Wake | Not a Nickel to Spare
Prisoners in the Promised Land | Days of Toil and Tears | Where the River Takes Me | Blood Upon Our Land
A Desperate Road to Freedom | A Christmas to Remember | Exiles from the War | To Stand On My Own
Hoping for Home | That Fatal Night | Torn Apart | A Sea of Sorrows | Pieces of the Past | A Country of Our Own
All Fall Down | Flame and Ashes | A Time for Giving | These Are My Words

External links[]