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Philip Riteman

Philip Riteman was born in Shershev in the Brest-Litvosk region of Poland. Forced from their town by the Germans in 1941, Philip and his family, along with thousands of other Jews, were deported into the Pruzhany ghetto. They were transported to Auschwitz in the winter of 1942. Philip’s parents, brothers, and sisters were put to death in the gas chambers. Philip and two remaining brother were selected for slave labour. From Auschwitz-Birkenau, Philip was sent to Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg, Dachau, and finally Landsberg. Liberated by the American Seventh Army in 1945, after crossing the Tyrolean Alps on a death march, Philip was the only member of his family to survive. Philip sought to leave Europe and start a new life in North America.

Only Newfoundland, an independent country at that time, was quick to respond in Philip’s favour. In 1946, Philip began his new life as a door-to-door peddler in his new country. Visiting Montreal, Philip met and subsequently married Dorothy Smilestein, who joined him in St. John’s. Their two sons are both graduates of Memorial University. In Newfoundland, Philip owned a wholesale dry goods business. By the time he left for Halifax in 1979, he had established a successful import trading company.

For many years, Philip did not speak about the Holocaust. In 1989, he gave testimony as a survivor for the first time at a school in St. Stephen, New Brunswick. He spoke to silence Holocaust deniers who claimed that the extermination of 6,000,000 Jews by the Germans had either never occurred or was greatly exaggerated. He spoke for those who could not speak. For more than twenty years, Philip had continued to bear witness as a survivor. At schools, churches, universities, legion halls, and business enterprises throughout Canada and the United States, he had shared painful memories and a commitment to a more just society. For his contribution, Philip had been awarded honorary doctorates by Memorial and St. Thomas Universities, as well as the Order of Nova Scotia.

Philip Reitman passed away on August 8, 2018 in Halifax, NS.


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About Flanker Press
Turning pages since 1994

Flanker Press is a bright spark in the Newfoundland and Labrador publishing scene. As the province’s most active publisher of trade books, the company now averages twenty new titles per year, with a heavy emphasis on regional non-fiction and historical fiction.

The mission of Flanker Press is to provide a quality publishing service to the local and regional writing community and to actively promote its authors and their books in Canada and abroad.

Now located in Paradise, Flanker Press has grown from a part-time venture in 1994 to a business with eight full-time employees. In the fall of 2004, Flanker Press launched a new imprint, Pennywell Books. This imprint includes literary fiction, short stories, young adult fiction, and children’s books.

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Flanker Press Ltd.
Unit #1 1243 Kenmount Road, Paradise, NL              A1L 0V8
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TF: 1.866.739.4420

Tel: 709.739.4477

Fax: 709.739.4420


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We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Book Fund (CBF) and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation for our publishing activities.

We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $157 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 157 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.