Joanie Schirm

  • 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…

  • Past Meets Future

    Past Meets Future

    So many cool things happen along my writing journey. At the moment I’m seeking educators (high school through college) to be advance of publication readers of MY DEAR BOY and provide a review to the publisher, Potomac Books. Since my father, after he retired from his Melbourne, FL medical practice set up the student health care…

  • A family tradition of saving the nation. Why truth matters and comes with a duty to speak out.

    A family tradition of saving the nation. Why truth matters and comes with a duty to speak out.

    As I continue to write a series of books about my Czech father’s adventures during WWII during his forced displacement by the Nazis, I marvel how world history ebbs and flows with the same uncomfortable flare-ups of hatred and discrimination. The unique WWII letter collection that my father hid away after the war, often provides…