Joey and Zev’s mother is extremely protective of her two boys, and she is worried that the violence and persecution of Jews in Europe and Russia has come to Toronto in the form of the “Pit Gang” and “Swastika Clubs.” Like Zev, she believes in taking action against the racist thugs, but she also believes there are alternatives to violence. After the Riot she goes directly to Toronto’s Mayor Stewart and successfully convinces him to make the “Swastika clubs” illegal.
Nazism was a fascist movement that drew strength from anti-communist, antisemitic, and nationalistic language. Antisemitism used by the Nazi regime became a tool for fascists in Canada and started to appear on the streets of Toronto in early 1933.
While some Canadian newspapers, such as the Globe and the Daily Star criticized Nazism, sources such as the Telegram stated that the anti-Jewish violence happening in Nazi Germany was exaggerated. This underreaction allowed local fascist supporters to use Nazi symbolism such as the swastika, with few consequences.
To the Jews the symbol invoked genuine fears as news of increasing violence in Germany made its way to Canada. In response, Jewish community leaders organized protests and demonstrations and spoke out in against Nazism in Germany and rising antisemitism at home in Canada.