Homer Alaska - Arts

Story last updated at 5:46 PM on Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Key figure in shaping state talks on Friday




The Kachemak Bay Campus's history department invites the public to the book launch celebration for Vic Fischer's new memoir, "To Russia With Love: An Alaskan's Journey" at 7 p.m. Friday. The book, written with Charles Wohlforth, traces Fischer's life from his early days in Germany and Russia to his decades in Alaska, where he was a delegate to the Alaska Constitutional Convention and a member of both the territorial and state Senates. Today, he continues to study state and local government policy and Alaska-Russia issues.

As a child of German parents associated with the Russian Revolution, Victor Fischer grew up in the shadow of Hitler and Stalin, watching his friends' parents disappear after political arrests. Eleanor Roosevelt personally engineered the Fischer family's escape from Russia. Victor Fischer served in the U.S. Army in World War II, fighting against his childhood friends in the Russian and German armies. As a young adult, he shaped Alaska's map by planning towns throughout the state.

This unique autobiography recounts Fischer's earliest days in Germany, Russia and Alaska, where he soon entered civic affairs and was elected as a delegate to the Alaska Constitutional Convention -- the body responsible for establishing statehood in the territory. A move to Washington, D. C., and some government appointments allowed him to witness key historic events of his era, which he also recounts in his book. Finally, Fischer brings his memoir up to the present, describing how he has returned to Russia many times to bring the lessons of Alaska freedom and prosperity to the newly democratic states.

His presentation and questions from the audience will be moderated by History professor Michael Hawfield. A book-signing will follow.

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