The stories I learned last Sunday were these:
My friend's father was one who had refused to join the Nazi party. The consequence of this was that on the day that war was declared, he was called up to army duty as among the first ones. There were three factors that show that it was not his turn to go yet: his age, his having a family with four small children, his being a farmer. Still, he was sent among the first ones. So now, we also know one thing that could happen to you if you did not join the party.
My friend said, that the entire town/village went to church throughout the era and was not intimidated that way. The pastor was very good and not a Nazi. In fact he was a graduate of the Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada seminary,(which is quite a co-incidence, since my friend now resides in Edmonton).
As already mentioned, I had asked her about the knowledge of what was going on with the Jews and she said they had not known, but some things were also withheld from children, like herself. In 1944, some Jews were housed in a large place in town while on route to somewhere. They were in dreadful condition. The farm women came to bring bread, but were turned away by the soldiers. They then proceeded to bring it anyways telling the soldiers to go ahead and shoot them, which they apparently did not do. Someone in their town has written about about these kinds of events in a book, which my friend possesses.
The end of the war was terrible for this town. The French soldiers were delayed in their area because the front was not moving. These soldiers were from all over the world, including Tunisia and so on. The raping, pillaging and murdering was horrendous and lasted for several weeks until they moved on. My friend described this in detail. These are things she remembered herself. The local doctor aborted the babies conceived in this fashion. The doctor was a woman who prayed that God would forgive, but the events had been too horrible. All these things seem to be known around town.
When my friend's father returned from the war he was incensed to hear about this. What kind of army would allow such things, he said. He contrasted this with the German taking of France, which was civilized. I suppose the troops he was with did not do things like that.
One more story from her. Her husband to be, he once was my pastor,later on, of course, never joined the Hitler youth. His father simply said: "You are not going. On Sunday morning you go to church, not to Hitler youth." The Nazi's always tried to supplant the church by staging their own gatherings at the same time.
State of Lutheranism
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