ERNA PARIS, C.M., passed away on February 3, 2022. She was the author of seven acclaimed works of literary non-fiction and the winner of twelve national and international writing awards for her books, feature writing, and radio documentaries. Her works were published in fourteen countries and translated into eight languages. Long Shadows: Truth, Lies, and History was chosen as one of “The Hundred Most Important Books Ever Written in Canada” by the Literary Review of Canada. In June 2008 Long Shadows inspired the Canadian House of Commons motion to apologize, on behalf of the government, to survivors of Canadian residential schools. In June 2002 it inspired a resolution in the United States House of Representatives to create a monument to American slaves on the Washington Mall. (For more information, please see Awards and Honours.)


The Sun Climbs Slow: The International Criminal Court and the Struggle for Justice was first on The Globe and Mail's “best book of the year” list and shortlisted for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing.


Her final book was From Tolerance to Tyranny: A Cautionary Tale from Fifteenth-Century Spain.


Erna was a member of the Honorary Council of the Canadian Centre for International Justice; a member of the Canada Committee of Human Rights Watch; an executive member of the World Federalist Movement-Canada; a vice-president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association; and a past chair of the Writers' Union of Canada. Erna was a frequent contributor to the opinion page of the Globe and Mail. In 2012, she was awarded the World Federalist Movement – Canada World Peace Award. In 2015 she was appointed to the Order of Canada.


Read Erna’s obituary in the Globe and Mail.


A former Nazi guard’s trial shows us that indifference can be as deadly as passion

Monday July 27, 2020, The Globe and Mail Last week, a Hamburg state court found Bruno Dey, 93, a former SS tower guard at the Stutthof concentration camp, guilty of complicity in 5,232 counts of murder: the exact number of human beings destroyed during his tenure there in 1944-45. Because Mr. Dey was a boy […]

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Lawlessness, debauchery, scapegoating, murder … the Black Death didn’t bring out the best in people

Sunday, May 17, 2020, The Star Today’s coronavirus has echoes not just of more recent pandemics but of the medieval plague, a disease of unkown origin that unleashed terrible fear and hatred. In the following excerpt from her 2015 book, From Tolerance to Tyranny: A Cautionary Tale from Fifteenth-Century Spain, Erna Paris narrates the European […]

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Behold a Pale Horse

Dear Visitors, Welcome to my website. Given what the world is currently experiencing with the contemporary plague of Covid 19, I thought I’d post my chapter on the Black Death of the Fourteenth Century from my book From Tolerance to Tyranny: A Cautionary Tale From Fifteenth Century Spain. (Earlier published as The End of Days.) […]

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We must not forget the Holocaust. But the way we remember will change

Saturday January 25, 2020, The Globe and Mail This month, we mark the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the largest and most infamous of the Nazi’s death camps. It will no doubt be a time of sombre reflection and analysis – and a pointer to whatever trends may be emerging with regard to […]

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The Rohingya might be one step closer to justice

Friday November 15, 2019, The Globe and Mail Gambia, mainland Africa’s smallest country, took an unprecedented step this week. To everyone’s surprise, it opened a lawsuit against Myanmar at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague – the tribunal that adjudicates disputes among states – accusing Myanmar of genocide against the Rohingya Muslims.

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