To A Brighter Future
by Ursula Pankow Delfs
Trafford Publishing

"There prevailed in our house, a feeling of gratitude and optimism. Had fate not spared us and given us the opportunity to strive anew, even to help others?"

Few authors capture the essence of the human dimension of war as effective as Delfs. Combining an engaging, highly descriptive writing style with comprehensive references to her mother's and father's exchanges of letters, Delfs provides readers with a true human angle. It is an angle rich with emotions and insights induced by German aggression during World War II. Delfs places readers in the middle of a homestead in Northern Alberta enabling them to grasp the compound diminutive consequences of war. She leads them into the thoughts and feelings of a German family that immigrated to Canada as they struggle to survive while the head of the household, Gunther Pankow, was serving a sentence in an internment and concentration camp. Delfs fills his book with human interests as she thoroughly describes and presents the Pankow family's experiences one after another.

The value of To A Brighter Future rests on its meaningful practice of storytelling paving to transfer of personal war stories between generations. Without some accurate, prior knowledge about the World War II era, today's generation will be bereft of evocative understanding of the war's impact on children, families, schools, and communities. The Pankows' personal stories provide important information about historical events, and the book has challenged readers to draw accurate historical conclusions. Delfs is most effective in integrating external events of the early 1940s into her memoir's narrative. She shows successfully how Hitler's rise to power and Germany's conquer of Poland affect German immigrants in Canada. To A Brighter Future is a valuable resource for students of Germans' settlement in Canada.

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