Accession consists of records related to the activities of Alex Levin, a Jewish war veteran and Holocaust survivor. Records include letters written to Levin from school children following various speaking engagements; interviews with Crestwood School, CHAT, and Netivot Hatorah; a recording of the Saluting Our Italian Heroes commemorative event; recordings of Remembrance Day ceremonies hosted by the Canadian Jewish War Veterans (Toronto Post); and photographs documenting events attended by Levin including Holocaust remembrance events, Yom Hashoah, Remembrance Day ceremonies, March of the Living, Miracle Dinners and Proms, Azrieli Foundation events including the launch of Levin's book "Under the Yellow and Red Stars", school visits, JWV programs with Sunnybrook veterans, portraits of Levin through the years and various scanned images of Levin's family.
Alex Levin (1932-2016) was born in 1932 in Rokitno, Poland. In 1941, the Germans invaded Rokitno and established a ghetto and formed a Judenrat to carry out their orders. In 1942, the Ghetto was evacuated and the Jews were brought to the town's marketplace to be transported by train to be killed. Levin was ten years old when he escaped into the nearby forest with his brother Samuel where he lived for 18 months in a hole in the ground. He was twelve when he emerged from hiding to find that his parents and youngest brother Moishe had been murdered. In 1944, he joined the Soviet forces as a messenger boy. After the war, he was sent to the USSR and enrolled in cadet school, remaining in the Soviet army until forced out for being Jewish in the 1970s. An engineer by training, Alex came to Canada in 1975 via Austria and Italy, and now lives in Toronto where he regularly speaks about his experiences in the Holocaust.