From Loss to Liberation

From Loss to Liberation


By Joseph Tomasov

Joseph Tomasov experiences loss at a young age, being only three years old when his mother is placed in an institution and twelve when his father dies. At the age of nineteen, Joe is living in Czechoslovakia and working for a family as a tutor at the start of World War II. After being sent to a forced labour camp, Joe escapes and joins the Slovak resistance, fighting to free his country from the Nazi invaders. After the war's end, the communist takeover of Czechoslovakia complicates his plan to emigrate. Arrested and imprisoned for three years by the communist regime, Joe finally returns to his family until confronted again by another invasion, this time by the Soviets, and he must decide whether to risk losing the life he has rebuilt to once again find freedom.

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About the Author

Joseph Tomasov was born on May 25, 1920, in Trstěná, northern Slovakia. After the war, he graduated from Prague’s Charles University with a degree in engineering. In November 1968, after the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, Joseph immigrated to Canada with his wife, Agnes, and their two children. In Toronto, Joseph continued to work in the field of engineering, managing a variety of projects and developments for forty-seven years. Joseph and Agnes, author of the Azrieli Series memoir From Generation to Generation, live in Toronto.

Product Information

  • Release: November 15, 2017
  • $14.95 Paperback
  • 208 Pages
  • 6 x 9
  • ISBN: 9781988065267

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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.