Haunting tour of war sites was a goal since childhood 

By Barbara Black

Giuseppe Valiante at the Berlin Holocaust Memorial. Magnifying glass

Giuseppe Valiante at the Berlin Holocaust Memorial.

Giuseppe Valiante went to Germany and Poland this summer under the sponsorship of Canadian Jewish Campus Life and the Canadian Centre for Diversity. It was a trip designed specifically for non-Jewish young people.

Valiante, a third-year journalism and communications student who is editor in chief of The Link this year, said he had wanted to make such a trip for many years. He went on a sponsored trip to Israel last December.

This summer’s trip took him and another Concordia student to half a dozen concentration camps, Holocaust memorial sites, and sites of mass graves in the forests. “The last night of the trip,” Valiante told the Journal, “one of the participants came out and said that he felt ashamed to be on the trip because his grandfather was a Nazi.

“When he was visiting gas chambers and saw piles of human hair at museums, all he could think about was the picture of his grandfather in a Nazi uniform. After he finished speaking, a granddaughter of survivors who was also on the trip went over and hugged him.

“Also, two people from Rwanda came on the trip. It was very moving to hear one of them tell stories of having to walk through a river with his family as body parts floated nearby.”


Concordia University