Author Charles Ota Heller's early childhood in Czechoslovakia was
idyllic, but his safe and happy world didn't last long, Three years
after his birth, Germany forced an occupation of his country;
afterward, most of his young life consisted of running and hiding.
His life, just like those of the other youths who lived in Europe
during the late 1930s and early 1940s, was shaped forever by the
dangers, horrors, and unsettling events he experienced. In this
memoir, Heller, born Ota Karel Heller, narrates his family's
story-a family nearly destroyed by the Nazis. Son of a mixed
marriage, he was raised a Catholic and was unaware of his Jewish
roots, even after his father escaped to join the British army and
fifteen members of his family disappeared. Prague: My Long Journey
Home tells of his Christian mother being sent to a slave labor camp
and of his hiding on a farm to avoid deportation to a death camp.
With the war coming to a close, Heller tells of how he picked up a
revolver and shot a Nazi when he was just nine years old. Heller,
now an assimilated American, left the horrors of the past-along
with his birth name-behind to live the proverbial American Dream.
In his memoir, he recalls how 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