A Drastic Turn of Destiny

A Drastic Turn of Destiny


By Fred Mann

“In Germany I was ‘Jewboy’; in Brussels I was ‘boche’; in France I was ‘undesirable’; in Portugal I was a ‘refugee’; and in Jamaica I was simply a non-entity... I was a pariah in an exploding world.”

Fred Mann’s compelling memoir is at once the nerve-wracking account of his family’s efforts to stay one step ahead of the Nazi death machinery and the captivating story of one boy’s rapid entry into manhood. Using the biblical theme of Exodus to give shape to his story, Fred Mann traces his family’s exile through Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Jamaica and finally to a new home in Canada. It is both a story of persecution and exile and the narrative of a boy who found himself taking on adult responsibilities while only beginning to explore the adult world. Proud as he is of his success in helping his family in a time of desperate need, Fred Mann’s story is also a lament for a lost childhood, for having to grow up far too fast.

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About the Author

Fred Mann was born in 1926 in Leipzig, Germany. In 1939, he and his parents fled first to Belgium, spent five months in Vichy France and then travelled through Franco’s Spain to Lisbon, Portugal. From there they sailed to Jamaica, where they remained until 1948. After the war, Fred Mann travelled throughout the US and Europe. He met and married his wife, Veronica, in Salzburg, Austria, where their son, Larry, was born. The family immigrated to Toronto in 1952, where Fred continued his professional career in the import/export business that had begun in Jamaica. He then became a financial-market consultant and international financier. Fred Mann passed away in Toronto in March 2008.

Product Information

  • Release: June 1, 2009
  • $14.95 Paperback
  • 304 Pages
  • 6 x 9
  • ISBN: 9781897470084

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The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs

Since the end of World War II, over 30,000 Jewish Holocaust survivors have immigrated to Canada. Who they are, where they came from, what they experienced and how they built new lives for themselves and their families is an important part of our Canadian heritage. The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs is guided by the conviction that each survivor of the Holocaust has a remarkable story to tell, and that such stories play an important role in education about tolerance and diversity. Millions of individual stories are lost to us forever. By preserving the stories written by survivors and making them widely available to a broad audience, the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs series seeks to sustain the memory of all those who perished at the hands of hatred, abetted by indifference and apathy. The personal accounts of those who survived against all odds are as different as the people who wrote them, but all demonstrate the courage, strength, wit and luck that it took to prevail and survive in such terrible adversity. The memoirs are also moving tributes to people – strangers and friends – who risked their lives to help others, and who, through acts of kindness and decency in the darkest of moments, frequently helped the persecuted maintain faith in humanity and courage to endure. These accounts offer inspiration to all, as does the survivors’ desire to share their experiences so that new generations can learn from them. Recognizing that most survivor memoirs never find a publisher, the Azrieli Foundation established the Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program to collect, archive and publish these distinctive records.