Joanie Schirm

  • 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…