My Dear Boy

A World War II Story of Escape, Exile, and Revelation
Narrated by: Kate Mulligan, Traber Burns
Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
5 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

After the death of Joanie Holzer Schirm's parents in 2000, she found hundreds of letters, held together by rusted paperclips and stamped with censor marks, sent from Czechoslovakia, Great Britain, China, and South and North America, along with journals, vintage film, taped interviews, and photographs. In working through these various materials documenting the life of her father, Oswald "Valdik" Holzer, she learned of her family history through his remarkable experiences of exile and loss, resilience and hope.

In this posthumous memoir, Schirm elegantly recreates her father's youthful voice as he comes of age as a Jew in interwar Prague, escapes from a Nazi-held army unit, practices medicine in China's war-ravaged interior, and settles in the United States to start a family. Introducing us to a diverse cast of characters ranging from the humorous to the menacing, Holzer's life story is an inspirational account of survival during wartime, a cinematic epic spanning multiple continents, and ultimately a tale with a twist-a book that will move listeners for generations to come.

©2019 Joanie Holzer Schirm (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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The sides of WWII you might never have read

The author Joanie Schirm, has taken us on a journey from Moravia/ Bohemia from the First World War through the journey of her father’s life in escaping the Nazis, to wartime China, to the United States. His life
Of service
And continuing to attempt to volunteer or seek employment continually being rejected while maintaining a positive attitude is remarkable. His wife is a pivotal component in his life that keeps the plates spinning all along.
Remarkably engaging and well worth the time. A fast
Read even though it is filled with facts and detail.
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What an adventurous life

Here is a man who was able to overcome life-threatening circumstances and create a new life for himself. It's part travelogue, part history lesson, part love story. You also learn how Czechoslovakia was betrayed by the Allies giving in to Hitler with the mistaken idea that giving away one country to him could create peace. It is hard to imagine how Holzer managed to go from one situation to another when the world was at war. The primary narrator was rather bland, sounding as though he had the book memorized and was narrating by rote.