Local author publishes story of survival

Escape to Paradise is written by Edgar Pankratz of Abbotsford

An Abbotsford author has woven his Mennonite experience – a culture based on hope, faith and charity – into a new story of persecution and survival.

Escape to Paradise, written by Edgar Pankratz and 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.

Pankratz was born in Katharinenhof, a Mennonite village in the eastern Ukraine. After the Second World War, he immigrated to Canada, where he worked in a printing plant.

He completed his high school education and went on to medical school, where he specialized in obstetrics and gynecology. He is now retired and lives in Abbotsford with Frieda, his wife of 62 years.

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Gabriel Klein’s sentencing delayed until September

Man convicted of killing Abbotsford high school student Letisha Reimer was set for June

Abbotsford Quilters’ Guild recognized for support of young-parent program

Group a recipient of Partnership Award from B.C. Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association

New book details 1893 murder in Abbotsford and 2 trials that followed

Farmer John Marshall was found dead on his Sumas Prairie property

Abbotsford Police Department’s public service counter reopens

Some modified protocols in place for the public due to COVID-19

VIDEO: Abbotsford Time Lapse 2020

YouTube user posts video showing time lapse of several Abbotsford locations

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

New platform allows readers to make a one-time or ongoing donation to support local journalism

B.C. mom’s drug-pricing petition on behalf of son garners thousands of signatures

Petition geared to gaining access to new medicines drew support of Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl

‘Paralyzed by fear’: B.C. woman details anxiety, grief at Italian relief hospital

Sheila Vicic spent two months in Italy as the country grappled with COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

CAMH survey looks at binge-drinking, financial anxiety during COVID

Alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism for those whose careers may have been sidelined due to the pandemic

Half of Canadians say governments are hiding something about COVID-19: poll

More than a third of people believe the virus was created in a lab

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Most Read