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Peter Vodenka wrote a memoir, Journey For Freedom, about his family's defection from the Iron Curtain in 1983.

Author will share inspiring journey to freedom

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Peter Vodenka is proud to be an American. He knows this whole-heartedly because he spent the first half of his life under an oppressive government in Communist Czechoslovakia.


After years of planning, Vodenka, his wife, Lilly, and their two young children escaped in June of 1983. On a cold, rainy night, the family ran across the border from Yugoslavia to western Austria, being chased by guards with automatic weapons and dogs. His daughter was 4 years old and his son was 2.

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Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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