Local author publishes story of survival

Escape to Paradise is written by Edgar Pankratz of Abbotsford

Local author publishes story of survival

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.