March 14, 1939 – This day in history for Valdik Holzer
This day in history, March 14, 1939, my father served as he had for the previous seventeen months as a Czechoslovak Army soldier protecting his country in Carpathian Ruthenia in the easternmost Slovakian region. On that day, the republic of Czechoslovakia was dissolved, opening the way for Nazi occupation of Czech areas and the separation of Slovakia. Born Oswald “Valdik” Holzer in 1911 when his country was a part of Austria-Hungary, Dad grew up in the Czechoslovak First Republic. On this day at that moment, Dad knew he was being forced to live under Nazi tyranny. He had no intention of doing so. Soon after the news arrived, his army unit relocated to the town of Prešov awaiting the Nazi decision as to what they would do with the Czech soldiers. It was the beginning of a string of decisions that my young dad would make that changed his life forever. Some three months hence, he would arrive in China. His journey had begun as an adventurer against his will.
Published by 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.
Filed under: Czech/Prague, Freedom, Holocaust, Human Rights, Joanie Schirm, WWII History; Refugees; Immigrants and Tagged: Adventurers, Amazon Books, author, Best Biography, China, Czech Republic, Czechoslovak, Czechoslovakia, Family History, Holocaust, Human Rights, Jewish History, Nonfiction, Peking, Shanghai, World War II, writing, WWII