Nazi Germany Escapee to Speak In Salina

An woman who escaped the horrors of Nazi, Germany, and eventually settled in Ellsworth after she became a refugee when her family farm in Germany was invaded during World War II will tell her story in Salina.

Seventy-five years after the end of WWII, 95-year-old Mildred Schindler Janzen finally decided to tell her story.

Mildred ‘s memoir, published in late 2020 by Sunbury Press, recounts her experiences as a refugee including separating from her family, coming to America alone as a teenager, finding love, and living the good life. The secret to her abundant joy is revealed in “Surviving Hitler, Evading Stalin: One Woman’s Remarkable Escape from Nazi Germany”.

Mildred will make an appearance at Salina Presbyterian Manor to meet with the residents who have read her memoir, answer questions about her experiences in WWII, and sign copies of her book.  The program will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7.

“I wish to leave a testimony for the younger American generation that is coming of age at this present time.  Do not ever take the legacy of your birthright for granted.  Oppose evil at every opportunity.  Speak out against injustice.  Most importantly, pay attention in your history class.  History can repeat itself; many of my generation bear witness to that fact,” Janzen said.

Mississippi writer, Sherye Green, partnered with Janzen to write her riveting memoir. Along with Mildred, Green was named the winner of the 2021 Mississippi Library Association Author Award-Nonfiction for the memoir.

“What a privilege it has been to get to know and to work with Mildred,” Green says. “Her story, set against the backdrop of a little-known period of World War II, is an eyewitness testimony to history you will not want to miss.”

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Surviving Hitler, Evading Stalin won the 2020 and 2021 “Sunny Award” from Sunbury Press in for the book in each imprint that “had the biggest impact or the greatest reach.”  Additionally, Janzen received the National Medal of Honor from the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), their highest national award, and another DAR medal for Women in History. The memoir was named a 2021 American Book Fest – Best Book Award Finalist for Autobiographies & Memoirs and won a silver medal in the 2022 Illumination Book Awards:  Biography/Memoir-Inspiration. A short documentary, Mildred’s Escape, has also won ten awards in film festivals worldwide.