Notebook

All of the documents through 1938 that survive among Gould’s papers give his surname as “Gold”, but beginning at least as early as June 1939 the family name was almost always printed “Gould” in newspapers, programmes, and other sources… Xenophobia was among the less admirable by-products of Toronto’s homogeneity, and the city was notorious for anti-Semitism between the wars. Jews counted as the largest non-British population in Toronto, and Jewish immigrants were widely perceived as “foreigners” and sources of unrest. After the First World War their numbers were curbed by a new immigration policy that observed a strict racial hierarchy, a response to overt lobbying to “keep Canada British” by not “polluting” the indigenous stock. By the 1930s Jewish immigration had slowed to a trickle. The Depression offered a convenient pretext for scapegoating Jews, and anti-Semitism gew alarmingly… After Hitler came to power in 1933,a more malignant strain of Judenhass could be detected in Toronto in the increase in hate literature, pro-Fascist groups, and harrassment of Jews. In the Beach, where, Robert Fullford recalled, a petition was taken on his street during the war to keep a Jewish family from purchasing a house, bigotry was often disguised as a concern for order and propriety. Jews, it was said, had loud parties and littered and changed clothes in their cars when they picnicked at the beach. Locals recoiled at this want of Anglo-Saxon reserve, and restrictive signs – “ONLY GENTILE BUSINESS SOLICITED”, or, more pointedly, “NO JEWS OR DOGS ALLOWED” – appeared on the eastern beaches. In the summer of 1933, youthful “swastika clubs” in the Beach provoked anti-Semitic incidents that culminated, the night of August 16-17, in one of Toronto’s worst riots. Morover, of the Western democracies Canada had by far the worst record for giving sanctuary to Jewish refugees from Nazi Germany. In early 1945, a senior Canadian official, asked how many Jews would be admitted after the war, notoriously replied, “None is too many.”

Kevin Bazzana, “Wondrous Strange: The Life and Art of Glenn Gould”.

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