In his touching and thoughtful autobiography, Horst Schmidt describes his life as a conscientious objector in Nazi Germany. Because of his beliefs as one of Jehovah?s Witnesses, he refused to join Hitler?s forces. Instead, he went underground with the Gestapo in hot pursuit. While travelling incognito with the banned publications of his religion he met his future wife, Hermine, in Danzig. Both were arrested. She was sent to a concentration camp, and he was sentenced to death by the People's Court, Nazi Germany's highest court.
The reader also gains insight into Horst's forster-mother Emmy Zehden's remarkable life. In 1944 Emmy Zehden was executed in Berlin-Plötzensee for hiding her son and other conscientious objectors. A street leading to the former place of execution has been named after her and now bears the name "Emmy Zehden Road".
The book has been edited by the historian Dr. Hans Hesse, who has studied Jehovah?s Witnesses in Germany since 1995. Dr. Hesse has added a fine section about the Nazi persecution of Jehovah?s Witnesses in which he points out that after the war, the new Federal Republic of Germany included the right to conscientious objection in its Constitution, largely due to the example set by Jehovah?s Witnesses.
"In just a few years, the life of the Schmidts has changed. As contemporary eyewitnesses, they are invited to relate before large audiences details of their sufferings during the NS period. ... Having become acquainted with these two wonderful people only after events with contemporary eyewitnesses, I am amazed that no one had approached these and other survivors of concentration camps with request for their reports before now."--Dr. Detlef Garbe, Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial