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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Nice previously handled copy showing wear to interior and covers. May include notes, highlights, underlining. Solid binding and a great resource in useable condition.
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Prague: My Long Journey Home: A Memoir of Survival, Denial, and Redemption Paperback – December 14, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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About the Author

Charles Ota Heller earned three engineering degrees and is an entrepreneur who founded several companies. Now retired, he devotes himself to writing. Heller lives near Annapolis, Maryland, with his wife, Sue. They have one son and three grandchildren. Visit him online at charlesoheller.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: AbbottPress (December 14, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 145820121X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1458201218
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,216,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Charles Heller has given us a beautifully written story of one child's journey through a Nazi occupied country during the holocaust, where most of his family is exterminated, to present day America where he attains scholastic and professional success.
From a life of privilege, Charles is a well-loved and valued only child, grandchild and great grandchild. He is sheltered from the reality of what is happening, as one cherished family member after another vanishes from his life. His father joins the British Army to fight the Nazis and disappears from the author's life for five years. Charles becomes one of the "hidden children" and his mother is taken away from him. Although very lonely, he is still not aware of the extent of, or reasons for, the Nazis' terrible carnage.
Charles' father returns from the war and when it seems that life might be normal again; the family must leave everything behind and flee again, this time from communist oppression.
After more than a year in a series of refuge camps, the author and his parents, arrive in America with its promise of freedom and opportunity, His parents overcome all obstacles to provide him with the education he will need to achieve the American dream. And, he does that--becoming a successful businessman, entrepreneur and academic, sharing his experience and knowledge with people in the United States as well as the Czech Republic.
However, throughout his life Charles is haunted by the past. Part of him is still the secretive lonely child--the one who can tell no one that he shot, and hoped he killed a Nazi when he was nine years old. He needs to find the truth about the "lost" family members, about why they were all killed. In finding the truth, he questions the role of his Jewish heritage and his own denial of that heritage.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Charles Ota Heller's memoir, Prague, My Long Journey Home, is among the most moving and compelling books I have ever read. I had planned to read part of it on a cross-country flight while reserving most of the travel time for work-related reading. By the end of the first chapter, I was captivated, and I didn't stop until the end.
Heller's life story is both disturbing and inspring. Those of us who grew up hearing about and reading about the horrors of life and death under the Nazis and then communism rarely feel the depravity as a personal experience. For most of us, nazism and communism are simply ideologies and governance systemns that have failed in far off places. Heller provides that personal experience, and his narrative draws the reader in to feel it with him.
After escaping, Heller tried to drive those experiences from his mind and soul as he developed a remarkable career in the US, but it all came back and made him whole when he was able to embrace all of it and return to his beloved homeland of Czechoslovakia. Anyone who reads this book must be prepared to be deeply troubled by the capacity of some humans to inflict unspeakable suffering on others, but the life affirming conclusion makes the journey through hell worth every word.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Excellent memoir of World War II in Czechoslovakia through a child's eyes. Understanding what he had seen & experienced came much later. Facing the ghosts of the past was heart-wrenching. Sometimes, you can't be whole till you've come full circle. Tale of survival & triumph of the human spirit.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
All honest Holocaust memoirs are testaments to survival and continuity. Charles Heller's stunning memoir, Prague: My Long Journey Home is set apart from others by the author's moving account of the process he went through in uncovering his past. For years after emigrating, he followed his parents' instruction to forget World War II and their life in Europe. Years later, with great courage he undertook a daring journey into himself to discover all that he had suppressed. This book is the result. As an editor, author, and instructor of memoir writing, I am in awe of Charles Heller's bravery, his beautiful writing, and his unflinching honesty.
The process of uncovering the past meant finally facing the suffering and deaths of members of his extended family during the Holocaust. It also meant remembering his last days with his beloved great-grandfather; and acknowledging his shooting, at age nine, of a man he believed to be a Nazi.
This is a memoir in which great triumphs--the reunion of Charles and his parents in 1945 and their eventual emigration to, and successful life in, the United States--are weighed against the price exacted by trying to forget.
"The past is not dead, it is not even past," Faulkner famously said. Charles Heller's moving descriptions of discovering the still-beating heart of his own past will keep readers enthralled.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Charles Heller's autobigraphy supports the assertion that we are a 'work in progress' versus a group restricted by our mindless DNA. Despite the adversities and horrors Heller experienced, he survived and thrived to become a humane and compassionate being. This author possesses a storytelling talent that captures a reader's attention from page 1 to the end. Graphic details in his novel provide the reader with a visceral sense of that historic period; World War II. Beware to those whose favorite reading genre is history. Upon completion of Heller's story, your intrique of and interest in World War II will be magnificently piqued. One will want to learn more."
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