"It's about words, and words are all I have…"



(January 28, 1911 – March 22, 2018)

There is a knock at your ornate Forest Hill door  +all

over Toronto  sadistic soldiers  are banging down  more

doors  (..and you thought the Handmaid’s Tale was bleak..

Please do remember  it’s FICTION  people!)   From these

homes they extract babies  Some bayoneted on the spot  some

saved for  other sport


Parents are pistol whipped  +worse   Rounded up into flat bed

trucks   The shrieking right out of Bedlam   Now the parents are

put on trains  to camps where  work will set them free   Can you

imagine this?   I want you to   So do  2,000 plus Jewish children

600 of whom Van Hulst saved  in Amsterdam 1943   They need you

to  IMAGINE this    Only 75 years ago!


A scene that played out all over Europe   Notable for the numbers

of children scooped  is Paris  Where the children languished in an

empty  (of their parents)  apartment complex  until more trains were

found   In Amsterdam  as the Nazis approached  many of the children

were abandoned in a makeshift nursery  Van Hulst had to choose  +took

12    Later he said: Why not 13?


It was never about who he saved  but always about who he did not   Now

across Toronto denizens watch as children are marched  +dragged through

manicured streets    Most people do nothing   But 4,326 rise up!  (5,595

Dutch rose too)   And they begin  in the shrill chaos of wrenching+screaming

to take the hands of single children   Remember  there are a few thousand   so

stragglers  are saved


These Righteous Torontonians take the children home   A few semi-charred babies

are placed in trunks  +ferried to Sick Kids where Doctors Without Borders  graft +

mend   Who are these heroes  +heroines?  Your friends?  Your neighbours?   I mean

I want to believe they are mine  as much as you want to believe they are yours   Now

fish darting among bones  shovels full  into Lake Ontario



All I really think about are the things I couldn’t do – the few thousand

children I couldn’t save..  Johan Wilhem Van Hulst)


When Germany invaded the Netherlands there were 140,000 Jews, and

by 1944, more than 100,000 of them had been sent to concentration camps.


SPRING  2018    ..Toronto the Good..

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