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New book explains Lake Placid man’s survival of Holocaust, Iron Curtain

— With his education in Budapest and at the Karlovo University in Prague, Shatz embarked on a journalism career after the war, spending much of his time as a Prague-based foreign correspondent. He met Jaroslava there.

“My wife and I were married in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 1948, shortly after the Communist takeover of the country,” Frank wrote. “As the Iron Curtain was descending, the borders were sealed off. But as an accredited foreign correspondent, I had a valid passport and could have left for the West. But without my wife. This I refused to do.”

Over the next six years, the Shatzes dreaded the proverbial knock on the door in the middle of the night from the secret police. Frank worried because he had helped some people escape to the West. That knock finally came, and after more than 10 hours of interrogation, Frank was let go. Less than a year later, in 1954, he was under suspicion again. This time, they had to flee.

“We fled Communist Czechoslovakia with only the clothes on our backs and a small piece of hand luggage,” Frank wrote. “But in it my wife, without my knowledge, had hidden my treasured copy of “The Anatomy of Peace,” by Emery Reeves, a book that has become my bible.”

In America

After getting through border checkpoints on the train from Czechoslovakia to Sweden, the Shatzes traveled around Europe and the Middle East, arriving in the U.S. on the Queen Mary in November 1958.

“We requested to be awakened at dawn so we wouldn’t miss the sight of the Statue of Liberty,” Frank wrote. “It was, indeed, an inspiring image.”

After briefly working for Pan Am, Frank moved to Cleveland, Ohio to work for the Hungarian Daily as a foreign news editor. In 1961, an editor at the newspaper suggested the Shatzes spend a vacation in the Adirondack Mountains, and they took his advice.

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