Joe O'Connor, National Post | December 23, 2015
The stained glass refugee window at St. Andrew’s Church on Jarvis Street faces south toward Lake Ontario. It is not displayed prominently. Walk by it, and you are liable to miss it.
But stop and look up, and what you will see is a Gothic church window unlike any other. There are no Jesus, Joseph or Mary or crosses or saints or other symbols of faith, but a grim, almost colourless scene, rendered in greys and blacks, depicting a boat full of people with haunted expressions — refugees from more than 70 years ago.
“That church window matters today,” says Eneri Taul. “We are facing a refugee crisis with the Syrians. But it is a crisis we faced in 1944, as Estonians. It was the last time to escape from that country.”
Leaky fishing trawlers, loaded with refugees, and tossed about on stormy Baltic seas while being preyed on by dive bombing Russian fighter planes and lurking submarines, are central to the exodus stories from the Baltic States.
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Toronto church’s stained glass window tells the frightening story of another refugee influx — from Estonia