Joanie Schirm

Joanie Schirm

Joanie Schirm won the 2013 Global Ebook Award for Best Biography for her book: Adventurers Against Their Will. Potomac Books will publish the second book, her father’s epic WWII tale, My Dear Boy: A World War II Story of Escape, Exile, and Revelation on March 1, 2019. Joanie is an award-winning writer, photographer, community activist, and retired Orlando, Florida businesswoman. The daughter of Dr. and Mrs. Oswald Holzer, she grew up on a sandy barrier island on the Space Coast of Florida, a place where extraordinary memories are made and pelicans soar. A sought after public speaker, she is internationally known for her highly successful leadership role in Orlando’s hosting of FIFA’s 1994 World Cup USA 1994. She is the proud parent of two adult children, Kelly and Derick, and lives in Orlando with her husband, Roger Neiswender. Her books can be purchased here.

  • A Story for Today – My Dear Boy Book Reviews Remind Why Learning History Matters

    A Story for Today – My Dear Boy Book Reviews Remind Why Learning History Matters

    From the writing journey… Since the March 1, 2019 publication by Potomac Books of My Dear Boy: A World War II Story of Escape, Exile, and Revelation, the reception of this powerful story of my Czech Jewish father’s past that resonates in our present time has been wondrous. (book trailer) Today, I share with you…

  • Kindness is not an action most expect.

    Kindness is not an action most expect.

    My writing journey never disappoints—often reminding me of the kindhearted strangers who’ve entered my life when I just let them in. In 2018, I connected with a Chinese born gentleman, Jim Fang, now a Canadian citizen, who is planning a Toronto museum dedicated to previous Christian missionary work in China. Jim was born in Yochow…

  • Secret History: The O. A. Holzer Medical Center

    Secret History: The O. A. Holzer Medical Center

    In a world where caring for our one human family matters more than ever, Gordon Patterson, Florida Institute of Technology History Professor, captures the spirit of my dad’s meaningful life in a short article written for the Florida Tech “Secret Histories” series:   The O. A. Holzer Medical Center. https://adastra.fit.edu/blog/campus/secret-history/secret-history-the-oswald-holzer-medical-center/ Driven by his father’s last wish…

  • A Last Goodbye – 80 years ago

    A Last Goodbye – 80 years ago

    Learn from the past. Change the future. On this day 80 years ago, May 21, 1939, my twenty-seven-year-old Czech Jewish father, Oswald “Valdik” Holzer said his last good-bye to his parents at the Prague railway station. After Nazi-occupation and persecution, dad was driven from his native land. His 1st port of refuge was Shanghai, China.…

  • World War I begins for USA, April 6, 1917 – My Bohemian Czech Grandfather Arnost Holzer already serving on the Russian front

    World War I begins for USA, April 6, 1917 – My Bohemian Czech Grandfather Arnost Holzer already serving on the Russian front

    April 6, 1917 – The USA entered ‘the great war,’ later named World War I.  By then, my Bohemian Czech grandfather Arnošt Holzer was already embroiled having joined in 1915 the infantry regiment #102 in his Bohemian town of Benešov where he was sent by the Austro-Hungarian army to the eastern front. Arnošt became a prisoner…