Priceless photos, recollections, and documents survived the disasters that affected the Fast Family in Prussia. Over a hundred postcards were diligently sent by Johann Fast to his children and family during the first World War. Meanwhile his wife Agnes arranged formal studio photos in an elegant album. Twenty years after their departure from Prussia, Johann decided to compile historical details of earlier relatives, their aspirations before the war years. His own youthful success in expanding the Fast furniture factory. Then amazingly, he started to write of the disruptions caused by the war, his travels to many countries, avoiding death amidst destruction. Serbia, Hungary, Croatia, France. He filled two notebooks which ended with his release from Belgium in 1919.
His daughter Gertrude, also gifted with detailed memories, wrote of her childhood in Prussia six decades later. She had saved her father’s postcards and notebooks. The German script was laboriously translated by Annie Fast of Johann’s war years, the history of his life later translated by Osoyoos residents.
The 15 children of Frieda, Reinhard, John and Gertrude decided to start their version of family reunions naming them Fast Blasts in 1990. Every three years they met in Sask locations from Meeting Lake near the Spiritwood homestead, to Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Lake Diefenbaker, then to Penticton BC in 1999. They read the translations of Johann’s memoirs, received booklets of Gertrude’s stories from Prussian and homesteading days. Enlargements of the postcards were seen at the Train Station during the next Cuzz Buzz era.
Then in April of 2016 a group of cousins met in Saskatoon bringing more family information with them. By then, several of them had experienced the streets of Graudenz where their parents had lived until 1923. Then in May Harold returned to Prussia with new found Fasts from the States, met Michal Czepek, whose relentless research resulted in the amazing documents, thought to be destroyed during the war, that are now included in this “Fasts From Prussia” website.