A New Beginning
The Compelling True Story of One Man's Journey
Against Overwhelming Odds


On a warm July evening in 1940, the population of the tiny Sudeten German village of Hermannstadt was increased by one with the arrival of Rudolf and Elsa Langer’s baby boy, Alfred. Soon called “Fredi,” the newest Langer was the delight of not only his immediate family but of the entire community of Hermannstadt, a close-knit farming village in Sudetenland’s Altvater mountain range. The picturesque setting and warm and loving family environment belied the situation elsewhere in Germany at that time. Less than a year earlier, the German army had invaded neighboring Poland and begun a world war. Perhaps remarkably, the residents of Hermannstadt, comfortably nestled in the far northeastern part of the country, were—for a time—relatively unaffected by Germany’s political climate and Hitler’s machinations.

But that was not to last. The idyllic life the Langer family had enjoyed for generations was abruptly and ruthlessly ended with the arrival of the Russian and Czech army. Residents of Hermannstadt were forced from their homes, boarded onto cattle cars under unspeakable conditions, and taken to then-unknown destinations. The Langers and their neighbors were treated with contempt and complete disregard by their captors, a fact that young Fredi could not understand—his family had done nothing wrong.

Through it all, the Langers’ powerful and abiding faith in God kept them strong and able to withstand—and eventually surmount—the hardships and obstacles with which their life was fraught. A New Beginning: A Compelling True Story of One Man’s Journey against Overwhelming Odds is Alfred Langer’s riveting, inspirational, and often heart-wrenching true-life saga. Filled with endearing snapshots of his childhood in Sudetenland before the Czech occupation, A New Beginning also details the horrors that followed, as well as Langer’s struggles and triumphs when he later left his homeland in his quest for the American dream. Al Langer’s persistence, determination, and strong conviction prove that no obstacle is too great when one has faith. His is a story that will touch your heart and stay in your mind long after reading the final chapter.

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“The first paragraph got me hooked!  Alfred Langer and Gene Church have brought alive a gripping story of faith, courage and the strength to endure.  It is a tribute to the indomitable fortitude of the human spirit.  Read it and be blessed. "  
~ Fay Angus, Sierra Madre, CA


"A man who never gave up and a man who worked in the tool and die industry for over 46 years. He valued friendships, loyalty and honesty in his workers, family and friends. New beginnings are not always bad they are often the start of something even better. A man that some day would realize that wealth and social status are secondary to character, honesty and integrity. Alfred Langer we are truly blessed that shared your story and your life with us. I am honored to have reviewed this heartfelt, heartbreaking and yet encouraging story of one family who would never take defeat. As your mother said: God did not mean for us to be ruined. You more than proved him right."  
~ Fran Lewis, Book Pleasures.com