Under the Gun: West German and Austrian Saints in World War II

by Roger P. Minert

5067410 under the gun

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Product Description

As World War II raged across Europe, thousands of German Latter-day Saints found themselves embroiled in the conflict. Hundreds served in the German military as their loved ones at home struggled to keep their families and the Church alive. Many were evicted from their homes and never allowed to return. The collective stories of how they lived - and died - under those conditions have never been told. This volume brings together the accounts of hundreds of Church members who survived the war, preserved in hundreds of personal interviews, journals, letters, and photographs. Their stories of joy and suffering are presented in this book against the background of the rise and the collapse of the Third Reich. Readers will be amazed at the faith and dedication demonstrated by these Saints, young and old, military and civilian. Here are just a few of the many accounts included in this volume:

Church members became very, very close. Everybody helped each other. It was a great time of togetherness. Also, after losing it all, those who had formerly been deemed wealthy were just like all the rest. Now we were all equal. No one had any more than anyone else. War is a great equalizer.
Lydia Ruf Wright, Stuttgart Branch

With a broken heart, I knelt before the wreckage of my home and prayed to my Father in Heaven to help me recover the body of my wife from the ruins intact. I wanted to find and identify her among the sixteen persons killed in that building. A great effort was made and my purpose achieved. Along with many others, she was buried in a mass grave at the Freiburg cemetery. From that time on, I have endeavored to preach the gospel with greater energy.
Karl Becker, Freiburg Branch

My father has been outside watching things. Then he came into the basement and said, "We all have to get out right now! The house is on fire!" We had felt something hit the house, but in all of the commotion, we didn't know what it was. So we ran out into the street and saw that our house was on fire. There was no fire department to help. Then my father and some neighbor men went back in to save some stuff. They brought our piano out too. The house burned to the ground, but we had our piano out in the street. I played the piano, and then my sister played the song "Freut Euch des Lebens" (Let's All Be Happy).
Liesellotte Pruess Schmidt, St. Georg Branch

    Contents
    Acknowledgments
    Introduction
  • Gedenkbuch (Memorial Book)
  • Major Events of World War II
  • West German Mission
  • Bielefeld District
    Bielefeld Branch
    Herford Branch
    Minden Branch
    Munchehagen Branch
    Stadthagen Branch
  • Bremen District
    Bremen Branch
    Wesermunde-Lehe Branch
    Wilhelmshaven Branch
  • Frankfurt District
    Bad Homburg Branch
    Darmstadt Branch
    Frankfurt Branch
    Mainz Branch
    Michelstadt Branch
    Offenbach Branch
  • Hamburg District
    Altona Branch
    Barmbek Branch
    Gluckstadt Branch
    Lubeck Branch
    St. Georg ranch
    Stade Branch
  • Hanover District
    Braunschweig Branch
    Celle Branch
    Gottingen Branch
    Goslar Group
    Hanover Branch
    Kassel Branch
    Uelzen Branch
  • Karlsruhe District
    Durlach Branch
    Karlsruhe Branch
    Mannheim Branch
    Pforzheim Branch
    Saarbrucken Branch
    Worms Branch
  • Munich District
    Augsburg Branch
    Frankenburg Branch
    Haag am Hausruck Branch
    Munich Branch
    Salzburg Branch
  • Nuremberg District
    Coburg Branch
    Furth Branch
    Nuremberg Branch
  • Ruhr District
    Benrath Branch
    Bochum Branch
    Buer Branch
    Cologne Branch
    Dortmund Branch
    Dusseldorf Branch
    Essen Branch
    Herne Brance
    Oberhausen Branch
    Wuppertal Branch
  • Schleswig-Holstein District
    Flensburg Branch
    Friedrichstadt Branch
    Kiel Branch
    Rendsburg Branch
  • Strasbourg District
    Buhl Branch
    Freiburg Branch
    Strasbourg Branch
  • Stuttgart District
    Esslingen Branch
    Feuerbach Branch
    Goppingen Branch
    Heilbronn Branch
    Reutlingen Branch
    Stuttgart Branch
  • Vienna District
    Linz Branch
    Vienna Branch
  • Weimar District
    Erfurt Branch
    Gera Branch
    Gotha Branch
    Nordhausen Branch
    Weimar Branch
  • Conclusion
    Glossary
    Index of Personal Names

About the Author

Roger P. Minert

Roger P. Minert served in the West German Mission and earned a BA in German from BYU. He earned an MA in German literature and a PhD in German language history from Ohio State University. After teaching German at the high school and college level, he joined the faculty of BYU as an associate professor of Church History and Doctrine. The author of many articles and books on German pedagogy and family history, he recently published a book on the East German Saints in World War II entitled In Harm's Way. Roger and his wife, Jeanne, live in Provo, Utah.

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