Alan Twigg’s tribute to Rudolf Vrba

Rudolf Vrba, who escaped Auschwitz and co-authored a report saving 200,000 lives, remains unrecognized in Vancouver despite his significant historical impact. Alan Twigg (l.) seeks to change this.” FULL STORY


Ronsdale Press carries on

Ronsdale's first 2022 title is a panorama of B.C. Holocaust-related literature.

January 05th, 2022

Auschwitz escapee Rudolf Vrba (left) with Alan Twigg (right) at UBC in 2001. Vrba is one of the featured authors in the last book edited by Ron Hatch, soon to be printed this Spring.

With Holocaust stories gleaned from 85 B.C. authors and 160 books, Out of Hiding: Holocaust Literature of British Columbia includes discoveries such as never-published photos of just-liberated Buchenwald and Vancouverite Jennie Lifschitz, perhaps the only Canadian-born Jew to have survived the camps.

In the aftermath of a moving celebration of life for Ronald Hatch—at UBC’s Cecil Green College in December, attended by dozens of Ronsdale Press authors—the venerable press he co-founded has confirmed its Spring list is well underway.

Under co-founder Veronica Hatch and assistant publisher Kevin Welsh, the first Spring title to be printed will be the last title that Ron Hatch edited—Out of Hiding: Holocaust Literature of British Columbia by Alan Twigg, the largest and most significant title in a series of Holocaust-related books that Ronsdale has produced since the press was founded.

Ronsdale Press continues under the direction of longtime co-editor and co-owner Veronica Hatch, pictured here with Ron Hatch on the imprint’s 25th anniversary.

Hatch was not Jewish; neither is Twigg.

Out of Hiding will be featured at the Epilogue Event on April 5, 2022 for this year’s Jewish Book Festival at the Jewish Community Centre in Vancouver for a gathering convened by Twigg, Robert Krell (co-founder of the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre) and Yosef Wosk, who contributed the Afterword to the book. All three have received the Order of Canada.

B.C. authors featured in this unprecedented panorama of B.C. Holocaust-related literature will be invited to attend the gathering at the Norman and Annette Rothstein Theatre. To start the evening, Alan Twigg will present a new video presentation of Rabbi Yosef Wosk performing the first-ever graveside, Jewish blessing for Auschwitz escapee Rudolf Vrba, the most important whistleblower of the Holocaust and one of the featured authors in the book.

Twigg’s “regional cross-section” of Holocaust literature in Canada is dedicated to Ronald Hatch, who died of cancer on November 25, 2021, as well as Robert Krell, the Vancouver psychiatrist who has pioneered Holocaust awareness in Canada for four decades.

Yosef Wosk with Holocaust survivor, writer and political activist Elie Wiesel in Vancouver. Photo courtesy Dina Goldstein.

The evening will be moderated by Yosef Wosk. Robert Krell and Alan Twigg will be on stage to answer questions. A child survivor of the Holocaust, Krell has condensed a 400-page memoir into a new autobiography, Sounds from Silence: Reflections of a Child Holocaust Survivor, Psychiatrist and Teacher (Amsterdam Publishers, 2021).

Robert Krell—the MLK of Holocaust education in Canada, who has dauntlessly paved the way for memory retrieval since the 1970s—has stated of Out of Hiding: “This book represents the best way forward in the 21st century.”

Rudi Vrba in Prague after the war.

The world’s foremost authority on the Auschwitz escapee Rudolf Vrba, Israeli educator Dr. Ruth Linn, has described Out of Hiding as both “inspiring and chilling.” It is a cross-section of Holocaust information and reflections gleaned from 85 B.C. authors and 160 books.

Outstanding characters include the already-mentioned Vancouverite, “Rudi” Vrba, credited by historian Sir Martin Gilbert with saving at least 100,000 lives, as well as Robbie Waisman, likely the only person ever to sneak his way into Nazi prison camps twice.

Discoveries include Dr. Tom Perry’s never-published photos of just-liberated Buchenwald, a little-known Warsaw Ghetto memoir by Stanislav Adler and Vancouverite Jennie Lifschitz, perhaps the only Canadian-born Jew to have survived the camps. She is featured on the cover. Illustrated and profoundly educational, this patchwork quilt of memory and history will be published in March of 2022.

At the celebration of life for Ron Hatch, when he spoke on behalf of all Ronsdale Press authors, Twigg explained the origins of the name Ronsdale. Ron Hatch had wanted to call the literary press that he co-owned with his long-time spouse in honour of his wife’s maiden name, Lonsdale. She felt an amalgam of their names would be better. Veronica’s nickname was Ronnie; his name was Ron. Hence Lonsdale became Ronsdale.


See this link for Ron Hatch’s obituary:

Alan Twigg by Rudi Vrba’s grave in 2021. Vrba was buried without a Jewish ceremony at an undisclosed location near Vancouver.

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