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A Drastic Turn of Destiny

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The nerve-wracking account of one family’s efforts to stay one step ahead of the Nazi death machine, A Drastic Turn of Destiny is also the captivating story of a boy’s coming of age in the chaos of war. The biblical theme of Exodus gives shape to Fred Mann's story as he traces his family’s flight from Nazi Germany through Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal and Jamaica to ultimately find refuge in Canada. Against the backdrop of very real fear, persecution and exile, this memoir brings to light the experiences of a resourceful teenage boy who is forced to grow up too fast. Successful as he is in helping his family in their desperate determination to survive, Fred Mann’s story is at the same time a lament for a lost childhood.

Introduction by Mark Webber

At a Glance
Germany; Belgium; France; Spain; Portugal; Jamaica
Jamaican internment camp
Arrived in Canada in 1952

304 pages, including index

Recommended Ages

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Photo of Fred Mann

About the author

Fred Mann was born in 1926 in Leipzig, Germany. During his travels after the war, he met and married his wife in Salzburg, Austria, and the family immigrated to Toronto in 1952, where he had a long career as an international financier. Fred Mann passed away in 2008.

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.