A true, riveting adventure and moving recollection of a loving family nearly destroyed by the Nazis. An inspirational story of a different kind of Holocaust survivor. Son of a mixed marriage, Charles Ota Heller was born in Czechoslovakia three years before the Nazi occupation of his country. Raised a Roman Catholic, he was unaware of his Jewish roots, even after his father escaped to join the British army and fifteen members of his family disappeared. Before his Christian mother was taken away to a slave labor camp, she hid him on a farm to protect him from deportation to a death camp. As the war was coming to a close, he came out of hiding, picked up a revolver thrown away by a retreating soldier, and shot a Nazi. He was nine years old.
The book is a personal account of a long journey of persecution, of struggle and survival in Nazi- and Communist-controlled Czechoslovakia, and of eventual escape from tyranny to America. It is the narrative of an assimilated American, who left the horrors of the past—and even his name—behind in the Old World to live the proverbial American Dream. Then two cataclysmic events following Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution brought him face-to-face with demons of his former life. On his personal journey, Heller discovered and embraced his heritage—one which he had abandoned so many decades earlier.
The book has received three awards – the Mark of Quality from Writer’s Digest magazine, honorable mention for best book of the year at the Los Angeles Book Festival, and finalist for best Indie Book of 2012. Prague: My Long Journey Home is available in hard cover, soft cover or as an e-book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or directly from the publisher, Abbott Press. For your local bookstore, go on http://www.indiebound.org/indie-bookstore-finder.