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Friederike (Frieda) is born in Austria, in 1923, and spends her first three years with Fani Tante. She is then reunited with her parents. who, like everyone else, are struggling to make ends meet. Times were hard during and after World War I and the new Republic is trying to recover and rebuild.

Frieda meets a young soldier, Ernst, and they marry in 1942, at the beginning of World War II. Trying to find a job, a place to live and a baby on the way, Frieda is helped by Ernst’s family and hers, especially after Peter is born.  Traveling becomes a major undertaking and Frieda walks many miles between homes of family to reach Ernst near the end of the war. These travels, with Peter in his carriage, are fraught with the danger of meeting German SS or Soviet troops or dodging bombs.

Margit is born, the war is over and the search for jobs and homes continues. After two years running a Bed & Breakfast along the Danube, Ernst and Frieda decide to emigrate. In 1956 the family boards the Arosa Kulm, a ship built with 200 berths and now with 1000, for an autumn trip in the North Atlantic, and sails to a new and better life in Canada.

Throughout their lives, this little family sticks together, accepts challenges, helps each other,  and works hard, as ‘luck’ appears throughout to help lighten their load.

Frieda, ever lucky, still lives in Montreal.

About the author:

My mother, Friederike Potzmann Czerny, is an avid reader and enjoys memoirs of famous people. At the age of 85 she finally decided to sit down and write her life story. Initially she was writing longhand in German but decided to switch to English at the insistence of her friends.

The original English is written phonetically and she needed her daughter’s (my) help to rewrite it and correct the spelling and grammar.

Because she has many relatives in Austria who do not read English she is hoping on day to have the book translated into German for them.

Margit Czerny



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