Emmerich Koller was born in Hungary. He and his family crossed the Iron Curtain into Austria in 1956. In 1960, Emmerich emigrated to the USA where he was a German teacher for 36 years. He is the recipient of the Presidential Scholars Distinguished Teacher Award from the White House and the Certificate of Merit from the Goethe Institutes in the USA. In 2017 he received the Verdienstkreuz of Burgenland. After his retirement, he became a writer. In his book, Good Dogs Do Stray: Memoir of an Immigrant from Hungary (2006), he recounts his early years in communist Hungary and his experiences as a refugee and immigrant. His book has been translated into German and is now available in its second edition under the title Über die Grenzen: Lebensreise eines deutsch–westungarischen Emigranten (2019).