Out of Darkness by John O Friend


This is the story of a survivor of the turbulent times prior to, and during the Second World War. Almost immediately after finishing his last year of high school, John Friend was interned in a Nazi forced labour camp and then taken to a Russian POW camp. After the War, he returned to his home in a small Eastern European town to find his former life devastated and his brother the only family survivor.

These were challenging times and at the age of twenty six, he turned to his former hobby - photography, as his only means of support. However, Communists took control of Romania, making escape the most obvious course of action. It was to be a dangerous journey through mine fields and machine gun towers at the border.

ln 1949 he arrived in Australia with one suitcase, unable to speak English, and with no immediate prospects of securing either accommodation or a job. Adapting to Australian society is described at a time when foreigners were viewed with both suspicion and curiosity. His experiences of working at both the Argus Metropolitan Newspaper and the ABC provide insights into Australia during the 1950's and '60's.

Finally an account of the author's trip around Australia and his photographic vision reveal his appreciation of the unique beauty of this continent. This passion for Australia is a denouement - a triumph of human spirit that emerges from the darkness of the past, into the freedom and beauty that Australia offers us all.

From the Author

Prior to 1918, Transylvania belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Romania took possession of Transylvania on June 4th, 1920 as a result of the peace Treaty of Trianon.

The events described between 1920 and 1940 happened in Romania. After 1940 Hungary took possession of the part of Transylvania where we lived. Therefore, events described from 1940 to 1944 occurred in Hungary.

Transylvania was returned to Romania after 1945. From December 1943 until October 1945, the events described happened in the south of Poland (now part of Ukraine) and in Russia.

Europe 1914 - prior to WWII

I wish to express my gratitude for the unlimited patience and care my late wife provided throughout the many months I worked on this book. I also wish to thank my daughter Koreyna for her support and help editing the many editions of this book.

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.Out of Darkness by John O Friend, a Holocaust survivor, I am a survivor of WWII. This is my story.