BiographyRabbi Erwin Schild was born on March 9, 1920 in Mülheim, a suburb of Cologne, Germany. Schild was raised in a non-orthodox Jewish household, but his family kept kosher, went to synagogue, and observed Shabbat and religious holidays. He attended the Israelite Teachers' Seminary in Würzburg. On Kristallnacht, the seminary was destroyed by Nazi troops and he and his fellow students were marched to the local jail. Schild was then sent to Dachau concentration camp, where he was released after six weeks under the condition that he leave Germany.
He arrived in Britain via Holland on a student visa provided by the Jewish Refugee Board in March 1939. While studying at a yeshiva in London, he was arrested as an "enemy alien" in May 1940 and interned in Kempton Park, Huyton, and on the Isle of Man. He was shipped to Canada on the S.S. Sobieski in July and interned in Camp T (Trois-Rivières, Quebec), Camp I (Île-aux-Noix, Quebec), and Camp B (Ripples, New Brunswick) for a total of twenty months.
Upon release in February 1942, he studied at the Yeshiva Torath Chaim and received his Master's degree in Semitics from the University of Toronto. At the end of the war, he discovered his parents perished in the Holocaust. Schild was ordained rabbi in 1947 and served Toronto's Adath Israel Congregation for over forty years. He is a Member of the Order of Canada, and has been honoured by the Federal Republic of Germany with the Order of Merit, Officer’s Class, for his lecture tours on the Holocaust and Judaism. Schild is the author of three books, The Very Narrow Bridge, And Miles to Go Before I Sleep, and World Through My Window. He lives in Toronto.