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Surviving to tell his Story

Heroes Remember

Surviving to tell his Story

After the war, most people thought it was just a Jewish propaganda, concentration camp which is another problem I had when I came home. People would not believe me as being a survivor of a concentration camp. Most of my friends laughed at me, well not to my face but they said to my face, "Sure Ed, yeah sure we believe you." But behind my back they would make fun of me, they would say, "Ed has a problem. Ed's got a mental problem. He has, this is all in his imagination. Ed couldn't have been in a concentration camp because it was only for Jewish people. Are you Jewish? No. Do you have a marking on your arm? No. Well then and you were Canadian Air Force? Yah, No, you couldn't have been in a concentration camp." It was a most difficult thing to do. So it was for many, many, many years, almost forty years later before I started speaking out. Once I became a target of laughter, once I became a target of disbelief, I gave up because people wouldn't believe me anyway but I harboured this. I had this within me, something I wanted people to know about. Twenty six Canadian air men were involved in the Holocaust by their presence in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. Yeah sure, yeah. So that was one of the things that kind of prompted me to become active, to speak out, to let people know it did happen as a Canadian, as non Jewish, as a Christian, I witnessed all this, the horrors of being afflicted by another person.

Mr. Carter-Edwards explains the difficulty he faced trying to tell his story about his time in the concentration camp.

Ed Carter-Edwards

Edward (Ed) Carter-Edwards was born on April 2, 1923, in Montréal, Quebec, and was raised in Hamilton, Ontario. He enlisted in August 1942, and then joined 427 (Lion) Squadron, 6 Royal Canadian Air Force Group, in Leeming, England. He was a wireless operator air gunner and completed 21 successful missions in a Halifax bomber. On his 22nd mission, Mr. Carter-Edwards was shot down near Paris. He was betrayed to the Gestapo by a collaborator, threatened with execution and forced into the Fresnes prison, near Paris. He spent five weeks in the prison in 1944 followed by a five-day trip in a French cattle car to the notorious Buchenwald concentration camp. He was there for three and a half months as one of 26 Canadians - 168 allied airmen in all. He was forced to participate in two death marches shortly before the end of the war. Once released from service and safely back home, Mr. Carter-Edwards returned to Hamilton and worked at the appliance manufacturer Westinghouse. He was married in 1946, and he and his wife raised three children.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
June 25, 2012
Person Interviewed:
Ed Carter-Edwards
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Bomber Command
Air Force
4th Medium Artillery Regiment
Wireless Air Gunner

Copyright / Permission to Reproduce

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