They leave war ravaged Germany in search of peace and prosperity. After a long journey to, and across Canada, they arrive in the city of Edmonton, Alberta. There they start their new life with $200.00 in their pocket. With many wrong notions, their life brings surprises and problems, which they learn to overcome. For lack of money Kurt builds a car out of two wrecks. They call it: "Bonzo". With this vehicle they set out to explore the wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. Their adventurous spirit takes them to isolated areas and precarious situations such as these: - I still had my doubts, but what did I know about driving cars? Kurt backed up a few feet, then he put the car in forward gear, stepping so hard on the gas that the vehicle shot into the creek with great speed. Bonzo let out a groan, but Kurt managed to drive up on the other side with the trailer. As soon as we had crossed the creek and were safely on flat ground again, we noticed water spurting out from under Bonzo's hood. Kurt stopped and stepped out to open it. Then we saw the mess! Water gushed out with full force. The radiator had sprung a leak!!! "Oh, for heaven's sake, what are we going to do now? The next service station is hours away. There is not a single soul out here, who will help us," I lamented. - - The booth at the park gate was completely deserted. Not a single soul was anywhere to be seen. Everything was locked. "We wouldn't have to pay park fees today, if we had no sticker," Kurt laughed driving through the open gate. But I became panicky. "How much gas is there still left in the tank?" I asked. "It's almost empty. I don't think we'll reach Jasper with it," he answered looking at the gauge worriedly. "It's approximately forty miles from here, but it's no use waiting. Who knows when they will open up today, perhaps not at all." We did not speak for a while silently praying for a miracle. the little cabins at the motel in Pocahontos were buried in snow up to the windowsills. there was no sign of life anywhere.- These and other adventures will keep the reader spell-bound and entertained.
Helga Tucque is a German immigrant who relocated herself and her small family when she was very young. They moved to Edmonton and had quite the journey, hence the title of this book “Oh, These Crazy Immigrants”!
Now, the book: this is a work of nonfiction and the ability to laugh at oneself and their situation all these years later. Coming from postwar Germany and entering into Canada I was actually surprised to not read about how horrible Helga and her family were treated. Maybe they weren’t treated poorly as the year suggests and I really hope that to be the case.
This story outlines from the moment she decided that she would come to Canada and uproot her family to finding places to live, learning English, purchasing their own home, jobs, money raising their child and growing roots here in Canada.
On a personal note I have grandparents who have always refused to tell their stories as though it was some horrible event and maybe for them it was, therefore this book shows me a side that I have never heard of or known about.
The story is very interesting and a very good read. I recommended to the author, Helga, that she should contact local school boards so that the students aren’t just learning history but they are enjoying history as well! I really hope one day that my kids will take interest in history and be eager to read this book.
From what I understand Helga Tucque has several books out and they are available on amazon among other places. I will post the links below. If you are a school teacher and you are looking to purchase a book for anyone grade 6-12 or even for your own benefit I HIGHLY recommend purchasing enough copies for your class. You will easily stay within the curriculum and get to ride along through history with the vivid imagery that Helga uses to allow the reader to experience each scene.
After reading this book, every week when I shop and I purchase a loaf of rye bread I wonder if it came from German descent or if it was already here and just her family’s favorite bread. I laugh when I purchase white bread as I think back to what her family went through and her sons reaction to the only bread they could find here for so long. It is funny how all these years later the bread was such an issue that it is remembered through the years and written about with such need.
Overall, this book was funny, it was cute, it was historical, it was interesting and I plan to read it again and again, I hope that more people write about their lives like this because these stories are dying rather quickly. If nothing else, ask your family their story before it can no longer be told and write it down. These are the moments that create our families, our friends and Canada!
About the Author
Helga grew up in Silesia, Germany. After the scourge of WWII, Helga started to collect memories of events during that unfortunate time. She began writing down what she had witnessed, trying to preserve the legacy of the Giant Mountain people of Silesia, who had to leave their beloved homeland. Helga has first-hand knowledge of their customs, dialect and history. Her first book Das Krumme Kreuz was written in German, published by Triga-der-Verlag. The Crooked Cross is the translation of this book. Helga also writes short stories, seven of these have been published, one winning an award. A novel Out of the Dark Past is almost finished. The most recent publication: Giant Mountains' Tales.