I worked with a South African whose German father immigrated there after WW-II, having served on the Eastern Front. He wanted to get as far away from Germany and the Soviet Union as possible and go someplace warm.
That was one of the reasons Zimmer said he picked Virginia. He said he wanted a place that has never seen -50F below since at least the last Ice Age.
Truth be told he put me to shame in alot of ways. Here is a guy in his 80s dying of one of the most painful terminal illnesses there is to the extent where the vast majority of people with the condition are bed bound on pain meds until the end and it was terribly painful for him to even move and yet he managed to get up every morning at 5:30AM and then go to the gym to exercise and then work all day on various projects and jobs.
I did ask him how he kept going. He said that he learned something in Russia. He watched nearly all his friends in his unit die one by one and rarely was it from a bullet, usually they would refuse to get up or refuse to keep moving and they froze.
He said what kept him alive was that he became determined to always get up and keep moving, because he knew from watching so many of his friends die once you decide not to get up when you know you should and decide not to keep moving its over. He continued with that view on life until the end.