I’m one of the lucky ones.by Joanie Schirm on July 11, 2020 Permalink
It is often said that digging into family history can transform us. Findings have the power to alter who we are. I’m one of those lucky people. Two decades ago, after my parent’s deaths in January 2000, I chose as my inheritance a secret collection of World War II letters, documents, vintage photographs, and film,
RARE EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT IN OLD LETTER DETAILS SHANGHAI ARRIVAL 80 YEARS AGOby Joanie Schirm on July 8, 2019 Permalink
RARE EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT IN OLD LETTER DETAILS MY FATHER’S ARRIVAL IN SHANGHAI, CHINA 80 YEARS AGO – JULY 5, 1939 After escaping Hitler’s growing threat in his occupied Czech homeland, and traveling nearly 10,000 nautical miles from Marseille, France, Oswald “Valdik” Holzer, on July 5, 1939, reached Shanghai. My father was a 28-year-old physician in a
Setting the Voices Free – Part Two – Tom Weissby Joanie Schirm on June 21, 2019 Permalink
Setting the Voices Free Part 2 in the Series As the years slipped away during the writing of My Dear Boy, one thing became crystal clear. My journey of research and writing was dramatically enhanced by the people who often serendipitously came aboard for the ride and then remained my friends to the journey’s end.
A Last Goodbye – 80 years agoby Joanie Schirm on May 21, 2019 Permalink
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.
“The Family Mystery That Turned Into a Global Quest.”by Joanie Schirm on March 9, 2019 Permalink
As the Growing Bolder media video headline describes, “The Family Mystery That Turned Into a Global Quest,” my life has been a search for understanding over the past decade. “It’s not the “retirement” Joanie Schirm imagined. A family mystery turned into a global quest, a journey of discovery, and a personal transformation into an internationally respected
MY DEAR BOY book launch reminds me why I do what I do.by Joanie Schirm on March 2, 2019 Permalink
March 1, 2019, was the launch of my new book, MY DEAR BOY: A World War II Story of Escape, Exile, and Revelation. MY DEAR BOY’s World War II story of escape, exile, and revelation is an inspirational account of my Czech dad’s survival during wartime, a cinematic epic spanning multiple continents, a love story,
Original Famous Czech Artist Adolf Hoffmeister Poster Travels Home to Pragueby Joanie Schirm on February 20, 2019 Permalink
Adolf Hoffmeister’s original poster of Hitler was discovered in 2000 in Florida by Joanie Holzer Schirm in the belongings of her Czech-American father Oswald “Valdik” Holzer after his death. The red and black, 17” x 24” poster, drawn circa 1940 before the United States entered World War II, features Adolf Hitler with his arms raised
100 Years Ago – December 1918 – Tomas Masaryk on return from Exileby Joanie Schirm on December 27, 2018 Permalink
https://youtu.be/MZgf8l56tQg In this video from 1918, at about 8:10 minutes, the Mayor of Benesov, my dad’s Czech hometown, greets Tomas M. Masaryk returning from exile during WWI to become the president of the newly former Czechoslovakia. At the time my dad was six years old. My father’s aunt Valda was married to Jaroslav Marik, the