Escape from Germany after WW II Topic of ElderCollege Saturday Speaker Series

Nanaimo resident Giselle Roeder will discuss her harrowing tale of survival growing up in Germany during World War II.

October 27, 2015 - 11:00am

With firsthand experience of the Russian advance into Germany in 1945, Giselle Roeder is more than qualified to discuss the trauma inflicted upon civilians in time of war.

Roeder will present an extraordinary narrative of ordinary German people living under Nazi rule at the next ElderCollege Saturday Speaker Series on November 7, 10 am to 12 noon, at Vancouver Island University’s (VIU) Nanaimo campus.

Roeder, a resident of Nanaimo, has harrowing tales to tell about the Russian invasion, the eviction of millions on ‘the road to nowhere’, the establishment of two Germany’s, life in the communist East, escapes leading to the Berlin Wall, and finally, emigration to Canada.

She was eleven years old when the war ended. “I listened to the grown ups and to the BBC in the evenings, but we weren’t allowed to discuss anything about the war,” she says.

Her presentation will intrigue those who wish to learn more about the issues and implications of emigration in the context of historical and current world events.

Roeder escaped from East Germany in 1955 and emigrated to Canada at age 29.

She penned a book about her experiences entitled We Don’t Talk About That – An Amazing Story of Survival, published by Friesn Publishing in April 2014. Copies of the book are sold in 64 countries and Roeder says she has received emails from all over the world. She is currently working on a sequel.

Roeder’s talk will take place in VIU’s Faculty of Management Building 250, Room 125, 900 Fifth Street, Nanaimo. The cost is $10 cash per person at the door. Everyone is welcome.

For a parking map, go to

Free parking is available in Lot Q (adjacent to building 250) and on Fourth Street. Access Lot Q from entrance 4E off Fourth Street.

For more information about upcoming talks in the ElderCollege Saturday Speaker Series or for general information about ElderCollege courses, go to



Janina Stajic, Manager, Vancouver Island University P: 250.740.6288 E: Twitter: @VIUNews

Tags: Teaching and Learning

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email