Monday, March 6, 2017
Hearts of the Fathers review
Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.
Sir John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton, 1st Baron Acton
In reading Darryl Harris' book HEARTS OF THE FATHERS, I was amazed he didn't have a German last name. Harris puts you right in the gritty middle of war-torn Berlin at the end of WWII. I give it five out of five Stars of David.
First let me say that I've been to Dachau and seen the mountainous pile of shoes. It was a heart-wrenching afternoon. I've also been to East Berlin before the wall came down. The tension there was so strong you could cut it with a knife. I can't imagine having to live ever day under the threat of Nazi or Russian retaliation for imagined insults. Though just visitors, everywhere we went we were followed by gun-toting soldier. We actually bolted for the border and couldn't get out of there fast enough. So I've had a little taste of what it was like. Harris has done a wonderful job.
This book wasn't just an expose on how bad the German people at that time were, but a truthful look at how even good people were caught up in, or rolled over by the tidal wave of Nazism.
This is Gerda Brendler's story of trying to find the son who had been kidnapped into the Hitler's Youth and forced to be a flak gunner.
It's Levi Zuckerman's story of trying to find his Jewish parents' whereabouts in a country in which one could get lost or killed going to the corner store for milk.
It's Major Pankov's story about trying to find the man who nearly killed him in order to stop two rapes and allow the girls to escape.
It's Erick Ranke's story of searching for hidden church books all over Germany in order to save the precious records from being burned as fuel.
Mostly it's a book about how God directs his children in His efforts to save and help His people.
This book is a skillful weaving of all the lives into one beautiful story of love lost and found--of listening to the voice of God--of doggedly living from one day to the next, being God's hands in the lives of others.
Harris did spotless research in order to put us right in the midst of the action of a country just trying to get its legs under itself, only to fall into a new trap.
This is not a good bedtime story for little children. Too many adult themes, although no actual sex or bad language. I would have had my high schoolers read this instead of some of the trash they watched. This isn't lit for violence's sake, but lit about looking for life in the midst of destruction.
If you like WWII stories, whether Jewish, Christian, or other, this is the book for you. You can get this book here.