Author shares father's letters from when he fled from Nazi-occupied country
A woman is documenting history through her father's collection of letters after he escaped his Nazi-occupied country.
Joanie Holzer Schirm found the letters after her parents died. Her father documented his escape from Czech to China and the tragedy suffered during World War II, all through his correspondence with people around the world.
"Over 400 multi-page letters, most of them Czech, written by 78 writers, friends, relatives," Schirm says.
One of the letters includes a goodbye note from her grandfather to her father, Dr. Oswald Holzer, written approximately one month before he and his wife were taken to a death camp with a group of Jewish people and never returned.
"I'm not certain whether I will see you ever again, so I decided to write these lines as my goodbye to you," the letter says.
Through her book series, Schirm discovers her father's journey and family history. She shared the story with Manhattan College students on Thursday.
"We have to remind people what can happen in the worst of circumstances which this was," Schirm says. "Education, exposure, stories, narratives from the survivors and their children are the most important thing we can do."