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Dangerous Measures

Fleeing Germany after the violence of the Kristallnacht pogrom in 1938, young Joseph and his family find safety in Belgium, but all too soon they have to escape again — this time to France — when the Germans occupy Belgium in 1940. When the Germans then conquer France and Joseph’s family returns to Brussels, Joseph is forced to set out on his own, and at sixteen years old, he assumes a false identity and begins to live a dangerous double life. Joseph repeatedly eludes the Nazis’ grasp, eventually finding his way to the French Resistance and bravely fighting with the underground until France is liberated. But Joseph’s years of fighting are not over, and when he arrives in pre-state Israel, he continues to do every thing he can to secure his freedom.

Introduction by Renée Poznanski

At a Glance
Germany; France; Belgium
Passing/false identity
Wartime documents
Postwar Israel
Arrived in Canada in 1968

248 pages, including index

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Photo of Joseph Schwarzberg

About the author

Joseph Schwarzberg was born in Leipzig, Germany, in 1926. In 1945, Joseph and his family were part of the earliest legal Jewish immigrants to pre-state Israel. Joseph immigrated to Toronto in 1968, where he established his own business, Adina J. Fashions, in the garment industry. Joseph Schwarzberg passed away in 2022.

Explore this story in Re:Collection

The officer inspecting my papers addressed me in German but I pretended not to understand him…. I was relieved that I was able to calmly withstand my first test in the art of deception, as many more tests of my nerves were yet to come.