The Trials & Tribulations of the Schaefer Siblings
By Monika Schaefer
In the early 1950s, Otto Schaefer and Editha Schmilinsky emigrated from Germany to Canada. They met, fell in love, married and soon had children. I am one of those children. My mother and father were proud of their heritage, though they were told again and again they should not be. Germans were brutes, warmongers and responsible for “the Holocaust.” We children were also taught this in school. It was reiterated in every movie or TV program we saw. I wholeheartedly believed that our people were responsible for the greatest crimes in history. I said to my mother, “Why didn’t you, your friends, your folk, your family, why didn’t you do something to stop these bad things from happening? Stop Hitler and stop these death camps? You should have done something! You must have known!” My mother told me she didn’t know. She added that nobody knew. They only learned about it afterwards. By the time I understood the nature of the post-war “re-education” program, my parents had passed away. I wrote a cathartic posthumous letter and made a short video entitled “Sorry Mom, I Was Wrong About the Holocaust,” as my research had definitively proven to my satisfaction that the real story about World War II, Adolf Hitler and the events we now know as “the Holocaust” did not match what we were taught in school. That video went viral and triggered a surreal odyssey that ended up with my brother Alfred and I spending years in German prisons for our thoughts and words. This book recounts that saga. Softcover, 304 pages, #955.