Finding Home

Finding Home

A War Child's Journey to Peace

By (author): Frank Oberle
ISBN 9781894384766
Softcover | Publication Date: May 1, 2005
Book Dimensions: 6 in x 9 in
336 Pages
$22.95 CAD

About the Book

Franz (Frank) Oberle was nine years old when his family was relocated from Germany to Poland. Once there, he was taken from his parents to an isolated school where adolescents were being indoctrinated into the Hitler Youth. As the tide of war changed, he became a refugee fleeing the Russian advance, arriving in Dresden as the city became the target of the most horrific Allied bombing of the war. Surviving on grass and stolen eggs, Franz and a friend walked 800 kilometres to his ancestral village on the edge of the Black Forest, only to find that his parents had not returned and to face rejection from his remaining family.

But the indominable Franz survived amid the disillusioned populace of Germany and, with his youthful sweetheart, dreamed of a new life in a new land. With the blessing of his beloved Hanna (Joan), he set off for Canada, promising to send for her when he was able to provide for her. Their subsequent life together in BC has encompassed tragedy and pure joy, hard work and hard times, failure and triumph, as Frank Oberle rose from self-educated immigrant to acclaimed federal politician.

Set against the backdrops of the Second World War and the raw British Columbia frontier, Finding Home covers Frank’s fascinating life story up until the time he visited Germany after a decade in Canada. Rich in detail, drama and humour, this is a love story, an inspirational saga and a book that sings the song of the Canadian immigrant.

About the Author(s)

Born in Forchheim, Germany, Frank Oberle survived the turmoil of Hitler's Germany and post-war chaos before immigrating to Canada in 1951. During his career he tried his hand at many jobs, including logger, gold miner, rancher and town mayor, before serving six consecutive terms as a member of Parliament. In 1985 Frank became Canada's first German-born federal Cabinet member when then prime minister Brian Mulroney made him minister of state for science and technology. Four years later, as minister of forestry, his determination led him to confront the industry's clear-cutting practices and demand sustainable forest management. He received the Canadian Forestry Achievement Award in 1992 and was a founding member of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.Frank lives near Nanoose, BC, with his wife, Joan. They have four children and seven grandchildren.


"Well written, fast-paced, and in many places highly entertaining. It is especially appealing since Oberle draws a very human picture of himself, without omitting his feelings, doubts, fears, and mistakes. . . An insightful and highly readable account of an extraordinary life." —Christian Lieb, BC Studies