Spring's End

A young boy who loved soccer as much as he loved to write, Spring’s End tells how John Freund’s joyful childhood is shattered by the German invasion of his homeland, Czechoslovakia. Hoping at first that the conflict and persecution would soon blow over, John’s Jewish family suffers through the systematic erosion of their rights only to be deported to Theresienstadt — en route to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. John’s loss of innocence and suffering are made all the more poignant as his vivid words reveal an unwavering faith in humanity, determined optimism and commitment to rebuilding his life in Canada.

At a Glance
Czechoslovakia
Theresienstadt ghetto / concentration camp
Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp
Death march
Postwar Czechoslovakia
War Orphans Project
Arrived in Canada in 1948

136 pages

2008 Independent Publisher Gold Medal

Recommended Ages
14+
Language
English

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Photo of John Freund

About the author

John Freund was born in České Budějovice, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), in 1930. During the Nazi occupation, John took part in writing for a clandestine magazine called Klepy (Gossip). Original copies of the publication were recovered and are now held at the Jewish Museum in Prague. After the war, as a war orphan, John qualified to immigrate to Canada, and he arrived in 1948. John lives in Toronto with his wife, Nora, enjoying the city’s cultural arts, galleries and museums.

Explore this story in Re:Collection

Into a new world I was brought

by a dream

Never to see blood spilled again

But can I really throw away

The dreams that soiled my youth?