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Faith is Prevalent During War

Heroes Remember

Faith is Prevalent During War

I come from a religious family. And it was a big influence in my family, particularly with my mother. And if anyone said, why did I survive, she would have said, "It's the will of God." When I was wounded, and word got back here, and it was pretty hairy stuff the way the telegrams came back. My wife was here at that time too. They were putting me on the dangerously ill list, which is next to the one, before the widow gets her notice. And then coming off of it again. And people would be upset, you know, and showing all sorts of sympathy for my mother. She said, "God has looked after him, he's alive." At that time, two of my friends had been killed and many others who weren't as close. She had a very strong faith, and that rubbed off. Indeed it's not a surprise in battle that everybody's pretty religious. They spent an awful lot of time praying and it can come in many different forms indeed. I went around to my platoon shortly after I got back there, and asked if everybody, who didn't have a bible because they were issued to you, and I wanted to make sure everyone had one, and there wasn't one without it, and they all had them in their left-hand pocket, over their heart. Indeed I was in hospital in England when Earl was killed, the last one. And I remember going into the chapel in the hospital, and I sort of fell to my knees, and that is not a Jewish practice. But I mumbled prayers that I had forgotten had even existed, and with a lot of tears. Those are sad parts.

Mr. Danson describes how faith was important and widespread during the war. More specifically, during times of danger or tragedy.

Barnet J (Barney) Danson

Mr. Danson was born in Ontario, 1921. Before the war, Mr. Danson worked for Columbia pictures. As a Jewish man, he was aware of the political situation in Europe. His instincts told him that war was imminent and he felt a sense of urgency to fight. As a result, he joined the Army during peacetime in hopes of being trained and ready to serve if war broke out. Mr. Danson was an Infantry Officer with the Queen's Own Rifles of Canada. In the Fall of 1944 he was wounded, thus ending his war effort. After the war, he had a successful business and later entered politics where he served as the Minister of Defence in the Trudeau Government.

Meta Data
Veterans Affairs Canada
Person Interviewed:
Barnet J (Barney) Danson
War, Conflict or Mission:
Second World War
Queen's Own Rifles of Canada
Infantry Officer

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