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SCHWERPUNKT

BERNARD DOV PROTTER The mystery man who helped thousands find a new home In the summer of 1997, a man invited his four sons and his wife to travel from all over Canada, the US and UK to a hotel on the shores of beautiful Lake St. Wolfgang in Austria to embark on a mysteri­ ous road trip into his past. Until then Bernard Dov Protter had only ever fed them meagre snippets about his early life. Now he was promising to reveal secrets hidden for decades. A recollection of Adam and Miles Protter. Early life What did we know for sure about our father? Bernard Dov Protter was born into a Jewish family of furniture manufacturers in Vienna in 1922. In the 1930s, his brothers moved to South Africa and his sisters to Palestine. His father, a WWI veteran, died just before the Anschluss in 1938. Later that year, with Nazis in pursuit, Dad used his Boy Scout skills to sneak through the mountains to seek refuge in Switzerland (a near impossible feat given their strict border control), and soon joined his sisters in Palestine. At the same time his mother sailed on a refugee ship from Vienna to Palestine, but the British turned them away and sent them to Mauritius, interning the survivors for the entire war. In her diary of the journey our grandmother wrote of immense suffering and disappointment. Once in Palestine, we knew only that Dad worked on a farm and a

few years later joined the British Army. He said nothing of this period, the war nor the post-war years. His story only continued after emigrating to Canada in 1953. Entrepreneur and family man Arriving in Toronto, we knew he quickly found his feet establishing a successful construction business. He was introduced to a nice English girl but was soon smitten by her vivacious and stunning English flatmate, Patricia. Dad got a buddy to take out the friend freeing him up to ask out Patricia. They fell in love, married, had four boys and together created a remarkable life for themselves. Every year on Christmas Eve they gathered immigrant friends to our home for carols and steak and kidney pie. They were tireless fund raisers for the National Ballet of Canada and threw fabulous parties attended by dancers,

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Profile for Alpendistel

Alpendistel #2 (K)eine Welt von Gestern. Der herausfordernde Umgang mit Erinnerungen  

Alpendistel #2 (K)eine Welt von Gestern. Der herausfordernde Umgang mit Erinnerungen  

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