In 1940, at the outbreak of war, his father was arrested by the Dutch and spent the next seven and a half years in internment camps in Sumatra and India. Mother Hausknost took Helmut and older sister Herta to Sumatra and spent the next eighteen months in Dutch internment camps for women and children.
Liberated by the Japanese in 1942, they lived with a community of German missionary Sisters in Padang and were finally deported to Europe in 1947 after spending seven months on a prison island in the Bay of Jakarta. They were reunited with husband and father in Austria in 1947 and lived there in post-war poverty for six years until emigrating to Canada.
Helmut graduated from Sir George Williams University with a B.A. in 1968 and makes his living in photography. He settled in Rosemere, Quebec, with his wife, Erika, has one daughter and a son, and five grand-daughters.
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