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Biography & Autobiography Historical


A Childhood in Wartime Prague

by (author) Jan Drabek

Caitlin Press
Initial publish date
Jan 1991
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Jan 1991
    List Price

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Escaping from Communist Czechoslovakia on skis with his family in 1948, Jan Drabek's experience of World War II was anything but ordinary. Thirteen follows a young Drabek growing up in tumultuous Prague where Nazi propaganda, clandestine BBC radio broadcasts, conspiratorial talk at home and escapist comedies in the theatres provided an unconventional upbringing and a unique war experience. Recollecting one of history's darkest periods, Drabek's unexpected humour and sharp wit offer a remarkable glance at the impact of the Third Reich. A noteworthy memoir, this re-release commemorates the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of World War II.

About the author

Jan Drabek was born in Prague and spent the war there, with his father, a member of the Czech underground surviving Auschwitz to serve as the chief prosecutor at several trials of Nazi war criminals. In 1948, when he was a teenager, Jan’s family escaped on skis from the newly Communist Czechoslovakia, eventually making their way to the United States where he finished his schooling and served in the U.S. Navy. He has called various countries in North America, Europe, Asia and Africa his home while working as a taxi driver, refugee resettlement officer, high school teacher, radio broadcaster, an ambassador and chief of diplomatic protocol. Married with two daughters, he is the author of more than 20 books, both in English and Czech. He has conducted seminars on memoir and biography writing and has served on the board of The Writers’ Union of Canada, also three terms as President of the Federation of British Columbia Writers. He lives in Vancouver.

Jan Drabek's profile page

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