The Making of an American Family
Author: John Schissler Jr.
Publisher: Xlibris Corporation
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Click here to view a video interview with the author by TV Personality Jim Peck in his show MPTV Public Television Milwaukee "I Remember with Jim Peck" Every family has its own story to tell. Be it tragic, heartbreaking, or triumphant, each tale forms part of a clan ́s history and defines its identity. Author John Schissler, Jr. started with an autobiographical essay in his history class in 1964, but didn ́t really give it much thought. Recently, through his brother ́s urging, he felt somewhat obliged to reveal their storied past. After a painstaking research, he now comes up with a book that narrates the fascinating history of his family entitled Passage: The Making of an American Family. What started as a school requirement now developed into a detailed memoir of a family ́s story that impacts the lives of many. Passage chronicles the humble beginnings of John Schissler ́s family and its struggles to weather the storms of life. Thinking he already had the skeleton of the story, Schissler looked for ways to make the pieces of the tale fall into place. Through the help of his parents, relatives, and friends, he looked for connections, photos, and other evidences to corroborate the existing story he already had. Author Schissler traces his family ́s roots and finds out that their relatives came from Donaueschingen. Germany, where there are two streams that come together to form the source of the Donau (Danube) river. He believes it is only fitting that his family, who were Donauschwaben, eventually ended up in Wisconsin, which in Native American language means "gathering" or "meeting of the waters." Passage is not merely a story of a clan who survived the horrors of the world war against the innocent; it also serves as a memorial to all the forgotten souls and unsung heroes murdered by Stalin, victims of the "final solution", and other nameless ones who were dumped indiscriminately into mass graves. Accompany John Schissler, Jr. as he revisits family ́s and his own unforgettable voyage to survival in this remarkable, imagery-filled memoir. Follow their exploits as they sought refuge in a foreign soil that embraced them as if they were its own. Join them as they celebrate diversity in their newfound land, their new home called Amerca. Witness the bonds they formed, the friendships and families they built, the failures that brought forth success, and life ́s challenges that made them what they are today. According to author Schissler, "War crimes don ́t necessarily end with the war. This is a true story about an ordinary, World War II European family, who was forced to embark on an extraordinary odyssey fraught with danger, disease, and death to reach the shores of the ́Promised Land ́. Shot at by British planes, imprisoned by the Russians, and forced to work in the peat bogs of East Germany, we finally escaped to West Germany where we found temporary asylem until we completed our pilgrimage to Ellis Island. The saga continues with my family ́s physical, emotional, and social struggles to get a piece of that American Dream and our eventual assimilatinon into that cultural diversity of that melting pot which is America." Book Review The self-published memoir is definitely a genre on the rise. I ́ve purchased a couple of these types of books, because their content helped me research my own family tree. But the ambition of Mr. Schissler ́s work is something special. The scope is nearly epic, and Schissler ́s cleverly balances personal history in the context of historic events, a formula that imbues his narrative with an ingredient sadly lacking in so many other writings in this genre: Propulsion of a story. Schissler captures what really happens to people in the wicked no man ́s land of war and rehabilitation, as his family must