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Author Talk with Joseph Gosler

January 13 @ 1:00 pm - 2:30 pm


Gunn Memorial Library is pleased to host author Joe Gosler for an eye-opening discussion of his memoir Searching for Home: The Impact of WWII on a Hidden Child.

As the Second World War ends and Josje is returned to his parents, he wonders “who are these people who call themselves my parents?”

At the tender age of just three years old he feels abandoned, confused and angry. He wants to return to his “real” parents, the ones who loved and sheltered him during the war. “My name is Pietje Dijkstra not Josje Gosler!”, he states tearfully when goaded by his cousin. 

As a Jew and a Hidden Child, his innocence protected him as much as his Christian family. At seven months of age,he was given to a young nursing student from the Dutch resistance, and placed with the Dijkstra family in Wageningen for his own safety as well as his parents’. The impact of his first separation from his parents, may not be so easily ascertained, but when he is returned to them, his porcelain psyche is damaged and his closest companions are fear and distrust. 

Childhood wounds never fully heal and the impact of his early life is seen through the lens of an immigrant, as he migrates with his family to Israel and subsequently to the United States. This is a personal memoir of a child survivor that spans from WWII to the late 20th century; a story of a young boy, who becomes a man, ever wandering and struggling to find himself. His parents, emotionally gutted from their own wartime experiences, are barely able to care for themselves, let alone this young stranger.

Joseph Gosler was born in Groningen, the Netherlands during WWII and after the war he migrated to Israel with his family and subsequently to the United States, where he has lived since. His life’s journey has been a circuitous one and as a result he has often meandered off the main road. This is best exemplified by the 20 plus years it took him to achieve his BA in History and MBA in corporate finance through the City University of New York. For nearly 40 years he has worked in educational settings ranging from day care centers to private schools in the capacity of Business Manager. He and his wife founded a pre-school called Beginnings Nursery, have one son and live in New York City. Mr. Gosler retired from Friends Seminary in 2004, and today is actively involved in several Quaker projects, writing, gardening, traveling and walking his dog. 


January 13
1:00 pm - 2:30 pm
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Gunn Memorial Library
5 Wykeham Road, Washington, CT 06793
Washington, CT 06793 US
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