Local writer to give library reading

Fleischmanns — Agnes Freas is a Margaretville writer and artist. A reading and discussion of her book, A Walk To Freedom will be held on Saturday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. at the Skene Memorial Library in Fleischmanns.

“A beautiful Sunday morning. The skies are blue and not too cold for a November day. Mother is in the kitchen preparing a breakfast....” Thus begins a harrowing tale of escape during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution of her family to America, abruptly leaving behind home and possessions, as told through the eyes of a 12-year-old girl.

Hungarian tale
This is a memoir of a Hungarian family’s odyssey from their country in turmoil to a new world, a new beginning, seeking peace and freedom. From the first page it is a compelling story of a young girl’s idyllic world abruptly turned upside down. In a matter of just a few days, from a warm kitchen in her family’s home in a small town in Hungary, to a new beginning in Long Island, with no more than the clothes they had worn when escaping, the transition was monumental.

At the age of 12 her parents had to make a difficult choice at the start of the Hungarian Revolution: live in Hungary under increasingly oppressive Communist rule or flee to a safe haven where their children could know liberty and peace. Agnes’ father was certain that having been labeled as anti-Communist he could very well be imprisoned or even executed by the leadership.

Survival tale
Having somehow survived five years in a Siberian coalmine work camp after being captured by the Russians in WWII, he knew he could not survive again. This is a story of their choice. It is a heartfelt story of struggles to adapt in a new country, America, and becoming proud Americans. It is a story of ultimate happiness, successes and accomplishments and finally a peace of mind and soul for her parents in their later years.

Agnes (Schoell) Freas was born in Sopron, Hungary in 1944 near the close of the Second World War. Married in 1964 and mother of two sons, she has been an interior designer and owner of Roswell Interiors in Roswell, Georgia where her family lived for 12 years. Agnes also became an accomplished artist, painting mainly in acrylics.

Now retired, Agnes devotes her time to painting, gardening, book clubs, and as a board member at the local library. She also enjoys hiking, cross-country skiing, bicycling, opera, and traveling both throughout America and internationally. Agnes and her husband, Chuck, live in their own home on eight acres near Margaretville.