Dan Propp was born in Sucre, Bolivia in 1944 after his parents Arthur and Elsa Propp had fled the Nazis. His mother fled Germany by ship to Brazil. His father, who was older, had been imprisoned by the Nazis after Kristallnacht. Just before the war ended he managed to escape from Berlin by air with the assistance of a woman from the British underground who managed to get him aboard a plane just before it took off. Bolivia was one of the few countries willing to accept Jewish immigrants. They came to B.C. in 1950, first to Vancouver, then settling in Gibson's Landing a few months later where, in his 60s, Arthur Propp started the Sucre Lumber Co. In the late 1960s, after his father died, Dan Propp wrote to Elie Wiesel about his parents' experiences. Wiesel subsequently provided numerous notes of encouragement to Dad Propp over the years, the last one in April of 2013, as Propp produced four self-published books. Eventually Dan Propp arranged for the publication of his father's memoirs, written in German, as Von Koenigsberg nach Kanada (2017), translated into English as Where the Straight Path Leads (2017), both available via Amazon.

Dan Propp taught in the Surrey school system for 23 years, previously working for The Richmond Review in the 1970s; also the Surrey Leader. He studied photography in Los Angeles during the 1960s, an era he recalls in his self-published book, The Postcard Photographer.

Dedicated to the children of the Holocaust, his collection 3 Stories contains a satire on public education, "HMS Chalkholder", in which a group of teachers form the League of Bold Optimistic Teachers of Modern Youth (LOBOTOMY). It's preceded by The Berlin Baker's Son, a story about a child of the Holocaust who searches for a sense of belonging in Los Angeles and Vancouver, and A Nobody From Powell River, about a son's upbringing in an isolated Jewish family and his attempts to untangle his parents' post-Holocaust trauma.

An accordion player, singer and performer, Propp also sells music cds of his music and has written a monthly column for Today's Senior called 'Accordion to Dan.'

CITY/TOWN: Steveston, BC

DATE OF BIRTH: October 16, 1944

PLACE OF BIRTH: Sucre, Bolivia


ANCESTRAL BACKGROUND: one of the children of the Holocaust (German Jewish)

EMPLOYMENT OTHER THAN WRITING: Recently retired elementary school teacher, photographer, postcard publisher

The Postcard Photographer (Self-published 2012)
3 Stories (Self-published, 2004) 0-9731934-1-7
Through the Sunshine (self published, 2002) ISBN: 0-9731934-0-9
Awareness through Photography (1973)

BIOGRAPHICAL DETAILS: Grade one to grade 12 - Gibsons BC, 1950-1962.
Banff School of Fine Arts, Photography - Summer of 1960.
Art Center, Los Angeles, photography, 1963-64.
Vancouver City College theatre arts program - 1969-70.
Also: teaching yoga, photography, wedding and postcard photography, writing a column for a boating magazine, crisis center telephone volunteer, amateur theatre, selling all sorts of paraphernalia to stores, Richmond Review display ad person and Night School Adult Photography instructor, taught elementary school for the Surrey school district for more than 22 years.

[BCBW 2013] "War"