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July 11, 1923 -
November 25, 2012
Mt. Angel - Johanna Alemann was an American citizen born July 11, 1923 in Woltersdorf, Germany and his survived by her sister, Sidonie Flacco of Hemet, California.
She lived a long and remarkable life. She was an international journalist, worked for Voice of America and had a successful film career producing educational films.
Johanna's parents were immigrants from Germany and Hungry. She choose to finish high school in Germany and then continued her higher education in Berlin with a major in journalism.
With the onset of World War II she became trapped in Berlin during the early days of bombing. A leading newspaper in Prague, Czechoslovakia offered her a position as a journalist. She leaped at the opportunity, though it was not without risks. She was considered an enemy of the state and was required to report weekly to Nazi authorities.
During the war she was cut off from all communications with her parents, but she thrived in the creative environment of the newspaper and described it as the "highlight of her life."
At the end of the war, she was no longer an enemy of the state, but became the enemy of the Czechs who went on a rampage killing Germans as a blood revenge. She was shot in the arm and back and tossed for dead in a truck with other bodies.
At night fall she escaped and was helped to a hospital where a Jewish doctor saved her life and kept her identity secret. Upon recover she was spirited away to West Berlin where the Allied Command hired her as a translator.
She returned to the United States in 1946 and was hired by Voice of America where she stayed until 1952. That year her father died and she and her mother moved to Tuscan, Arizona and later to Los Angeles.
In 1955, Johanna began her film career, working a 40 hour weekend job to support herself and her budding film business. She introduced two innovative film series, History Through Art and Art Portrays a Changing World and garnered many top film awards.
She produced 18 films from 1958 to 1976 and in 1967 was listed in the Who's Who of Filmmaking and is recognized as the first women filmmaker of educational films.
After her film career she wrote two books, The Pendulum of Choice and The Diary of Three Dogs and enjoyed expressing her inner musings with her poetry.
When not active producing films or writing, Johanna studied and contemplated the spiritual side of life. Above all, Johanna loved dogs, especially Pucci, Skipper and Sheba.
She will be missed by her friends and family. A life well lived.
Her memorial service will be December 11 at 2:00 PM at Mt. Angel Towers, One Towers Lane, Mount Angel, Oregon. For information call Stewart Nestor 503-358-5722. Arrangements by Unger Funeral Chapel.
Published in StatesmanJournal on Dec. 2, 2012