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From Loss to Liberation

In the fall of 1944, the Slovak National Uprising both endangers and saves Joseph Tomasov’s life. Joseph has been a constant target of the Nazis and their Slovak allies and joining the resistance movement is his only way out, even though life on the run is steeped in peril. In 1945, Joseph finally experiences the relief of liberation, but his safety lasts only ten years — imprisoned by the Communist regime in Czechoslovakia, he is separated from his new family and faces a potential twenty-five-year-sentence. Once he rebuilds his life, Joseph and his family face yet another threat and he must find his way to freedom. Joseph’s journey From Loss to Liberation is the harrowing story of a young man who never gives up and who, ultimately, fulfills his hopes and dreams in Canada.

Introduction by Nina Paulovicova

At a Glance
Labour camp
Slovak National Uprising
Postwar Czechoslovakia
Imprisoned by Communist regime after the war
Arrived in Canada in 1968
Husband of Azrieli author Agnes Tomasov

216 pages, including index

Recommended Ages

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Photo of Joseph Tomasov

About the author

Joseph Tomasov was born on May 25, 1920, in Trstená, Czechoslovakia (now 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. Joseph Tomasov passed away in 2019.

At first we weren’t sure what was happening, but by looking through a small ventilation pipe we soon found out. We saw the Germans, who had followed our footsteps in the snow. There was no way out.