In a treasure trove of World War II letters, a daughter uncovers her father and his friends’ long-hidden histories. Adventurers Against Their Will is a gripping wartime adventure, a fascinating account of WWII archival reconstruction, and a searching exploration of memory, family, and the will to survive.
What people are saying about Adventurers Against Their Will and author Joanie Schirm…
“Adventurers Against Their Will is a brilliant and compelling account of men and women caught in the turbulence of war. Part insightful history and part family drama, the book leads readers on a journey into the past, answering many questions and posing new ones along the way. Joanie Schirm has made a fresh and vital contribution to our understanding of World War II’s impact on the lives of people in Central Europe.” –Madeleine Albright, Former U.S. Secretary of State
“Adventurers Against Their Will is a powerful wartime story revolving around true historical events. Based on scrupulous research, Joanie Schirm has dug deep into her own family history and beyond to recreate the lost world of Jewish culture in interwar Czechoslovakia and the horrors that followed during the Nazi occupation of Bohemia and Moravia. An emotionally powerful book for anyone interested in the vanished universe of early twentieth-century Central Europe and the war that destroyed it.” –Robert Gerwarth, author of Hitler’s Hangman: The Life and Death of Reinhard Heydrich
“I could say that this reads like a novel but I’ve read a lot of novels set during the Holocaust and most of them, no matter how carefully researched, fall flat; you can always tell precisely where the research stops and the plot begins. What makes Adventurers so compelling is that none of its characters are aware of the roles they’re playing. It’s heartbreaking to realize how forward-looking and hopeful they’d been—how excited to be a part of Masaryk’s doomed democracy. Their warts-and-all humanity brings home the horror of what was lost so much more powerfully than the pathos of cheap storytelling ever could.” –Arthur Goldwag, author of The New Hate