Moshe KrausBy RAN UKASHI B’nai Brith Regional Director for Manitoba

Following an incident this summer where students from Shaftesbury High School targeted a Jewish student with antisemitic posts on the popular social media app Snapchat, Pembina Trails School Division reached out to B’nai Brith Canada to help educate them about the dangers of racism, antisemitism and intolerance.

B’nai Brith quickly coordinated with the school to organize a testimonial presentation by Cantor Moshe Kraus, a Holocaust survivor who survived the war by virtue of his voice – having been forced to sing for Josef Kramer, the notorious commandant of the Bergen Belsen concentration camp.
Some 700 people were in attendance at Shaftesbury High School on Sept. 12, including students, faculty members, staff, and representatives from the Winnipeg Police Service.
A video of Kraus’s testimony was shown to the assembly, followed by a deeply personal set of stories told by the cantor himself. He spoke candidly and emotionally about the loss of his entire family, and the horrors he endured at a labour camp in Yugoslavia and at the infamous Bergen Belsen concentration camp.
Cantor Kraus left the audience with a final thought, imploring all in attendance to remember his face – and his story – as he is among the few remaining Holocaust survivors alive today who can provide firsthand testimony as to what transpired during those this dark era in human history. He reminded us that even today there are Holocaust deniers, and that by sharing his story and remembering his words, we can all stand up to unequivocally reject their baseless and dangerous views.
Following his presentation, the entire assembly gave him a standing ovation, with many students forming a queue in a bid to meet and thank him for sharing his story.
Needless to say, B’nai Brith was honoured to offer this presentation to Shaftesbury High School as part of its mandate and commitment to fighting antisemitism and racial discrimination in all its forms. B’nai Brith commends both the Pembina Trails School Division and Shaftesbury High School for reaching out to us and working so hard to facilitate this important event, and for standing up to anti-Semitic discrimination and for the rights of their students.