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Former prof and Holocaust survivor launches new book

Author: Communications

Posted on Apr 9, 2013

Category: UNB Fredericton

This week former University of New Brunswick Professor and Dean Israel Unger, along with UNB alumnae and author Carolyn Gammon, will be launching their new book The Unwritten Diary of Israel Unger, published by Wilfrid Laurier University Press, in several events across the Atlantic provinces.

At the beginning of the Nazi period, 25,000 Jewish people lived in Tarnow, Poland. By the end of the Second World War, nine remained. Unger and his family hid for two years in an attic crawl space and, against all odds, emerged alive. Still unsafe, after the infamous postwar Kielce pogrom, Israel's parents sent him and his brother as "orphans" to France through the Rescue Children program. After years living a precarious existence between France and England-as people sans pays-the reunited Unger family finally made their way to Canada in 1951. In Montreal, at the local yeshiva (Jewish high school), Israel discovered chemistry, and a few short years later left poverty behind.

Dr. Unger was named Professor Emeritus in Chemistry and Dean Emeritus in 1999 after a successful career at the University of New Brunswick. For the last three decades, Dr. Unger has been a tireless champion of science education, high academic standards, and increased funding for post-secondary education.

Dr. Unger's impressive record of academic, professional and community service includes terms as president of the Canadian Association of University Teachers and the New Brunswick Chapter of Science for Peace. He is also a founder of the Canadian Conference of Deans of Science Association and chairperson of the National Research Council Advisory Board on Scientific and Technological Information.

This is as much a Holocaust story as it is a story of a young immigrant making every possible use of the opportunities Canada had to offer; after decades of silence, here is Israel Unger's "unwritten diary."


Halifax, NS - Monday, April 8 at 8pm: Holocaust Memorial Day 2013; Scotiabank Theatre, Sobey Building, Saint Mary's University, 903 Robie Street. This event includes artistic performances, a candle lighting ceremony, and keynote address by Israel Unger. Reception and book signing to follow.

Fredericton, NB - Thursday, April 11 at 7pm: Book Launch; Holy Cross House, Conference Room, St. Thomas University Campus, 845 Montgomery St. For more information about this event, please contact Marc Gionet (AHRC) at (506) 453-7203.

Sydney, NS - Thursday, April 18, 4-6pm: Book Launch; Flavor 19, 1225 Grand Lake Road. For more information about this event, please contact Diane Lewis at dianelewis@eastlink.ca or (902) 562-4032.

Charlottetown, PE - Saturday, April 20 at 2pm: Book Launch; Confederation Centre Art Gallery, 145 Richmond Street. For more information about this event, please contact Sandra Ireland at rose_tern@yahoo.com, (902) 566-1427, or (902) 620-1724.

Moncton, NB - Sunday, April 21 at 2pm: A Community Remembrance, Yom HaShoah 2013; Tiferes Israel Synagogue, 56 Steadman Street. This event includes prayers, lighting of memorial candle, and fellowship. Israel Unger is the invited guest speaker and will be available for book signings. For more information about this event, please contact Hannah Davidson at mrsjgd@hotmail.com or (506) 854-8487.

For information about The Unwritten Diary of Israel Unger and WLU Press, please contact Clare Hitchens, publicist, at (519) 884-0710 ext. 2665 or clare@press.wlu.ca.

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