Entrevue avec Léa Roback : une femme engagée

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Entrevue avec Léa Roback : une femme engagée
A question-and-answer interview with Lea Roback (1903-2000), a Montreal bookseller, trade union activist, feminist and pacifist. As a young child, the Montreal-born Roback moved with her Polish-born parents to Beauport, Quebec, where her father ran a small retail business. She returned to Montreal as a teenager, and in her twenties lived in New York, France, and Germany. In Berlin, she joined the Communist Party fighting against the rise of Nazism, and renewed her association with the party on her return to Montreal in 1932, and remained committed to the party until 1958. In 1935, she opened the Modern Bookstore on Bleury Street, the first Marxist bookshop in Montreal. Also in 1935, Roback coordinated the first election campaign of Fred Rose (1907-1983) who would become, in 1943, the first Communist member in the House of Commons. Her association with the labour movement began in 1936 when she was hired by the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union to organize the garment industry in Montreal. She also campaigned alongside Thérèse Casgrain for women's suffrage in Quebec during this period. In the early 1960s, Roback became an active member of La Voix des femmes (Voice of Women), a pacifist organization whose Quebec chapter was founded by Casgrain in 1961. In the interview Roback discusses her strong attachment to her Montreal Jewish heritage, discrimination in Quebec, and her philosophy towards life.
Canadian Woman Studies/Les cahiers de la femme
Vol. 16
no. 4
Autumn 1996
Bénesty-Sroka, Ghila. “Entrevue avec Léa Roback : une femme engagée.” Canadian Woman Studies/Les cahiers de la femme Vol. 16, no. 4 (Autumn 1996): 81–85. https://cws.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/cws/article/view/9184/8301.
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