VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Jeanne Beker, a child of holocaust survivors, will lead the Azrieli Foundation Book Launch, with a reading of her parents’ memoir, “Joy Runs Deeper,” at the Museum of Vancouver on Thursday, Feb. 19.

“Joy Runs Deeper,” by Bronia and Joseph Beker, is an important literary view of the way life was in Poland, precisely in Kozowa, a small town in the east, after the 1939 invasion by Nazi Germany. The memoir is a rich tale of luck, kindness, but most importantly, it is filled with the narratives of two people that survived hell.

The Bekers, who were both born in a small shtetl in Eastern Poland, managed to survive the war, through horrible circumstances, yet the most important moral of the story is that they did it together.

In a statement released by the Museum of Vancouver, Jeanne Beker said, “As a child of [Holocaust] survivors, I’m keenly aware that I have been left with a legacy that’s as powerfully daunting as it is inspiring.

“Now I realize it was [my parents’] storytelling [about their experiences during the Holocaust] that made me who I am, colouring my personal philosophies, imparting a sense of resilience and instilling in me a precious instinct for survival,” said Beker.

This will be the first time the book will be launched on the West Coast. The entire experience will be enriched by the Museum of Vancouver, who will put on an exhibition that features rare examples of haute couture and Vancouver-made clothing and accessories that reflect how WWII changed society as a whole.

In a CBC interview last year, Jeanne Beker expressed,”Most Holocaust survivors do not want to tell their stories. They do not want to openly talk about it because it is so painful.”

The reading will be an important experience for those who are interested in learning more about the Shoah, as well as the Second World War.

The reading has been organized by the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre in partnership with the Azrieli Foundation and the Museum of Vancouver.

The Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre is the leading institution in British Columbia that is dedicated to teaching Holocaust education, with a particular focus on Canada.

The Museum of Vancouver holds numerous exhibitions on Vancouver’s past, but also aims to connect Vancouver to the world.

The Azrieli Foundation pledged $5 million to to the Birthright Israel Foundation of Canada at the beginning of February.

By Milad Doroudian

Image by Daniele Dalledonne