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Tom's Story - Twice Rescued

1. Czechoslovakia 1931-39. I was born in the town of Brno. My father, Francis Graumann, made and sold custom made shoes. After my brother Tony was born, my parents divorced, my mother married Julius Hochberg and we moved to Tesany, 12 miles out of Brno and lived in the "mansion". We had lots of servants in the house who took care of us. Dur comfortable life was changed by some major events.

At the Munich Agreement (1938) Britain and France decided that the defended boundaries of Czechoslovakia would be given to Hitler in exchange for "Peace with Dignity." Uncle Emanuel and family came from Vienna, lived with us till they got their immigration papers to Australia.

Nicholas Winton a young British stock-broker with his friend, Martin, who worked for the British Home Office, came to Prague intending to go to Switzerland for a ski holiday. When he was shown the conditions of the refugee camps, Nicky decided to help the children. He wrote to all Western governments, raised 50 pounds Sterling for each child, found homes for them and arranged 6 trains to transport them. I was on the last train. If it had not been for Nicky Winton, I would not be here today. My brother, Tony was sick, couldn't come with me and there was no next train.

2. UNITED KINGDOM (1939-1956)

Miss Mary Corson a teacher at the mission school at Jaffa was unable to return to Palestine. Tom Schlesinger and I lived with her in a village near OBAN.I learned English and forgot Czech and German.

Robert Hudson Pope,. of the Scripture union conducted children's meetings in the next village. There I heard the gospel explained. As the evangelist was explaining Jesus' invitation, "Come to me all you who are weary and heavy laden", I bowed my head, prayed and received Jesus as Savior. He told me, "In order to grow spiritually, you need to read the Bible every day. Here is a card which will tell you which verses to read." One evening I read Exodus 13:11-13 and realized that I was the firstborn of a Jewish family. I had been saved from almost certain death by going to Scotland. When I received Jesus as Savior, I received spiritual life and was saved again. I felt God wanted me to be a missionary. After secondary school I moved near Blantyre for nurses training and often visited David Livingstone's birth place. He wrote, "God had one Son and He sent Him into this world as a missionary Doctor."

After nursing I attended the Bible Training Institute in Glasgow, and decided never to return to Czechoslovakia. I liked Paul's ambition, "To preach where Christ was not known" (Rom.15:20)

3. THE PHILIPPINES (1957-66)

After language school, I worked with Palay evangelizing tribal people in the mountains of the island of Mindoro, for my first 4 years. At the start of our 2nd. Term, Caroline and I were married in the jungle, and we worked together among the Iraya tribe doing Bible teaching and medical work.

4. USA (1966-1993)

We adopted Tim and Lynette in Santa Cruz, California, moved to Denver. Dan was born 1 week before Tim and Lynn's first birthday. We returned to Santa Cruz to raise support to return to the Philippines. Paul was born. While I was on deputation in Oregon, I got sick. After 3 years of SLOW recovery, we returned to Denver. I graduated from Seminary. We raised our 4 children and worked in nursing jobs. We visited the Philippines 4 times (1990-93) and found we could still speak.

5. Czech Republic (1993-Present)

When Communism fell, we took an early retirement and returned to the land of my birth to teach English as a retirement occupation. 2001 I got Czech citizenship. When my heart valve started to leak, I was given a pig valve and 14 units of gentile blood, so I'm not very kosher any more. While I recovered from surgery, Caroline had 2 knees replaced which work very well. We continue to teach about the HOLOCAUST during the school year, and visit our family in Littleton for school vacations.