Did you know that only one percent of all Jewish children in World War II Europe survived the war?

Yishar KoachForward with Strength shares the account of a man who was entrusted with inspiring some of these precious few orphans to find strength and hope after experiencing tremendous loss. At Aglasterhausen, a United Nations school for WWII orphans, Fred Fragner took on the mantle of principal and teacher at the school—a daunting responsibility for most, but not for Fragner—a fighter of the Nazi regime who was shot, captured, and interrogated by the Gestapo and then imprisoned for five years in Buchenwald Concentration Camp.

The life of this most remarkable man of integrity and altruism was inspiration for Susan Sloan to write Fragner’s biography—a five year project that she undertook with great passion after being introduced to him at a café in Bellingham, Washington. Sloan researched transcripts of lectures and speeches made by Fragner, she refers to newspaper clippings and documents about him, listened to audio and video tapes, and interviewed many who knew him as mentor, coach, friend, family member, and teacher. Most importantly, Sloan had access to Fragner’s own scrapbook about Aglasterhausen that vividly tells how “the children gave him his life back” as he tried to help restore theirs.

The author took on this project with the hope that it will inspire others “to understand the importance of persevering even in the midst of the most daunting challenges.” Yishar Koach: Forward with Strength is a most timely and much needed reminder for today’s unstable times when there are the most people, worldwide, who have been forcibly displaced since WWII. (The United Nations reports 60 million people are currently displaced as refugees from brutal acts of war, political coups, and religious intolerance.)

Sloan’s illuminating biography captures Fragner’s lifelong altruism and strength so that it may continue to shine for future generations to come and act as a guidepost and a cautionary tale for today’s challenges.


A timely and thoughtful work that documents and honors Fred Fragner whose unconditional love, respect of others, and perseverance in the face of insurmountable odds still inspires and heals.  Yishar Koach: Forward with Strength, authored by Susan Sloan, is an illuminating biography of this amazing man who made a difference to so many people throughout his life. Sloan’s biography captures Fragner’s lifelong altruism and strength so that it may continue to shine for future generations to come and provides a guidepost for today’s challenges.