Otto and Daria
A Wartime Journey Through No Man's Land
ISBN: 978-0-88977-443-8
Series: The Regina Collection 4
Year: 2016
Pages: 282
Binding: Casebound with dust jacket

A poignant memoir of lives cleaved by war, Otto and Daria is the first-hand account of Eric Koch, a man who once was called Otto. As a Jewish refugee from WWII Germany, Otto first left his country for England, and later arrived in Canada, where he was for a time imprisoned in a camp. The counterpoint to Otto's recollections are the letters from his long-distance love interest, Daria Hambourg, a London girl of bohemian temperament, unusual literary talents and a distinguished, but restrictive, family background. These parallel writings tell the story of two young people caught in the grip of history, and together show what you have to give up in order to move forward.


Table of Contents



Introduction: Meeting Daria

Chapter 1            Frankfurt: The Centre of the World

Chapter 2            St. John’s Wood

Chapter 3            Westendplatz

Chapter 4            The Playing Fields of Cranbrook

Chapter 5            Shadows of the Past

Chapter 6            1938: The Year I Met Daria

Chapter 7            Daria’s First Letters

Chapter 8            Waiting for Monsieur Rappaport

Chapter 9            Fifteen Minutes with the Police

Chapter 10          Anguish in Ascona

Chapter 11          “Peace in Our Time”

Chapter 12          Shattering Glass

Chapter 13          Christmas in Buckinghamshire

Chapter 14          From Frankfurt to Kensington

Chapter 15          Watches and Clocks

Chapter 16          Tea in St. John’s Wood

Chapter 17          September 3, 1939

Chapter 18          Refugees in the Blackout

Chapter 19          My Future, if Any

Chapter 20          Tea with the Master

Chapter 21          The End of All My Troubles

Chapter 22          Internment: The English Phase

Chapter 23          Internment: A Camp with a View

Chapter 24          Internment: A Year in One Spot

Chapter 25          Internment: The Camp Experience

Chapter 26          Daria in No Man’s Land

Chapter 27          German Lessons

Chapter 28          A Benevolent Colonel

Chapter 29          The Consequences of Internitis

Chapter 30          A Love Story

Chapter 31          The Summit

Chapter 32          One Toe in Canada

Chapter 33          Marriage: A Transatlantic Fantasy

Chapter 34          The Summer of 1943

Chapter 35          Nine Toes in Canada

Chapter 36          I Have Arrived

Three Postscripts

Final Note

About the Author

Eric Koch

Eric Koch was born in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1919. From 1937 to 1940 he attended Cambridge, where he studied economics and law. In May 1940, he was interned as an "enemy alien," together with thousands of other Jewish refugees. He was among those who were sent to Canada, where he remained interned until the end of 1941. From 1944 until 1979 he worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He is the author of fourteen books of fiction and six of non-fiction.
Otto & Daria: A Wartime Journey Through No Man's Land provides an apt commentary on social issues and the unfolding status of women.Otto's experiences also reflect current attitudes about refugees, sometimes perceived as harbouring spies rather than being victims of war.
Keith Foster , The Battleford News-Optimist
The Creative Industries Transition Fund is made possible through funding that was provided to the Saskatchewan Arts Board by the Government of Saskatchewan through the Ministry of Parks, Culture and Sport.