Grant, Charles

Charles Grant, "Charlie," salesman, human rights activist, (b at Toronto 22 Oct 1902; d there 28 May 1980). Of Scots Presbyterian background, Grant left home at an early age to travel the world. After many adventures in western Canada and the Orient, he settled in Vienna and became a diamond broker. In 1938 he was arrested by the Nazis for "currency speculation" and was sentenced to several months in jail - but ended up spending the entire war in internment camps. On his return home, he attempted unsuccessfully to create an organization to bring to Canada large numbers of young orphans from Europe. He spent the last 3 decades of his life as a human-rights activist. A largely fictional account of his life, "Charlie Grant's War," was telecast on CBC in 1985. With no corroborating evidence, it claimed that Grant saved 647 Viennese Jews by providing them with stolen visas. True or not, Grant should be remembered less for what he did during the war than after it - fighting ANTI-SEMITISM, RACISM and bigotry in Canada.