Gregory B. testimony 2011 [video recording]
Date of Recording29 March 2011
Duration1h 39m 0.0s
SynopsisGregory B. was born on June 20, 1923 in Berlin, Germany. He describes his family as wealthy and secular. His stepfather was more actively Jewish. He discusses how the Nuremberg Laws enacted in 1935 considered his family to be Jewish. He recalls being too young to notice the rise of Nazism. He describes hearing about the Kindertransport from a friend and deciding to put his name on the list. He discusses his mother’s decision to become a nurse in a Jewish hospital. Gregory arrived in England in May of 1939 and found work on a farm in Wales. He describes his arrest and transfer to a camp near Liverpool then to the Isle of Man. He describes deportation to Canada in the summer of 1940 on the S.S. Sobieski. He recalls interactions with the German POWs. He describes arriving at Camp A in Farnham, Quebec. He describes the background of the other German refugees. Gregory describes the details of the camp school and his education. He recalls receiving a sponsor for his education and release from the camp. He discusses his growing interest in religion, involvement in Protestant organizations at McMaster University and eventual conversion to Catholicism. He describes his graduate studies and time in monasteries in North America and Switzerland. He discusses how his childhood experience and refugee experience informed his theology. He discusses his interest in ecumenism and the relationship between the Catholic Church and Judaism. Gregory describes his appointment to the Second Vatican Council in 1959. He discusses his participation in the movement against Catholic conservatism. He reflects on his internment experience and his support of marginalized people and social justice. He discusses his national identity.
Funding NoteCataloguing and digitization of this testimony was supported by funding from the Government of Canada.