A Mennonite at war

Local author self-publishes WWII survival story Escape to Paradise, a tale of persecution and survival.

New book by Edgar Pankratz is the story of one Mennonite family's journey from persecution in Europe to Canada

New book by Edgar Pankratz is the story of one Mennonite family's journey from persecution in Europe to Canada

Being a pacifist, an anti-war and anti-violence supporter was a lonely place during World War II, and in countries like Germany, it was dangerous.

Local author Edgar Pankratz wove his Mennonite experience — a culture based on hope, faith and charity — into a story of persecution and survival.

Escape to Paradise, produced by FriesenPress, tells the story of Theo Dirks, born in a Mennonite village in the Ukraine. During the Second World War, he and his family are exiled to Siberia but through disastrous circumstances manage to escape and return home.

As the Germans arrive, Theo becomes drafted, first as a translator and then into the dreaded, and hunted, SS.

In the meantime, his family is evacuated by the German Army, ending up in Poland, then East Germany. Theo finds them there after being released from a prisoner of war camp.

Escape to Paradise is the story of one Mennonite family’s journey from persecution in Europe to Canada, and how strength in one’s faith can liberate anyone despite how many times, and how brutally, they are tested.

Escape to Paradise is available online from the FriesenPress bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and most online book retailers. Readers can also purchase the ebook on Kindle, iTunes, Kobo, Nook and GooglePlay.