Liane I. Brown
Author of Refuge and From Fear to Freedom
Refuge and From Fear to Freedom (2 books in 1) tell Liane’s story of surviving as a German girl in war-torn Europe during World War II. Liane Brown has been a mentor to thousands throughout the years. Faithfully she teaches that God is a refuge to those striving to move from fear to freedom. Using her personal story of how her family found Christ relevant during wartime, she inspires eager listeners to find Jesus as their all-sufficient source of strength.
Liane tells her true story
As a ten-year-old girl, Liane Guddat watched Hitler’s motorcade pass by their home in Insterburg, East Prussia. Within a few short months, Insterburg was smoldering in ruins when Mutti (Liane’s mother) and her four children scrambled over bricks, broken glass, and scorched beams as they tried to escape the ravages of WWII. Although not a Nazi, Liane’s father had been drafted into the German army and became a prisoner of war.
Thousands of stories have been told about the deprivation and horror of the Second World War, but there is one aspect that has received comparatively little attention: the story of those who lost the same war twice, the people of Germany. Not the military, the Nazis, or the government itself, but the villagers, the grandparents, the wives, and the children – the people who had little more control over their future than did the victims of the concentration camps.
Hitler’s Third Reich of Germany, in its corruption and despotism, subjected many of its own people to terrible abuse before it began to crumble, abandoning them to a new kind of holocaust. Those who lived in the western part of the country had the hope, at least, of rebuilding lives for themselves after 1945, but those in the east who came under Russian control soon found that the struggle had only begun.
Liane’s story of Refuge
Refuge recounts sixteen months of Liane’s life as a young German girl under Russian occupation in an area that is now part of Poland. Those in her little family were the last representatives of a town of twenty thousand residents. All others had been murdered, forced to flee, or starved to death. Despite brutal treatment and harsh conditions, the Guddats survived, escaped, and reunited their family, bringing with them to the free world a compelling story of God’s marvelous grace.
Listen to Liane’s story!
From Fear to Freedom
Finally, Hitler lost the war. His loyalists sought to hide in foreign countries. The Nuremberg trials exposed their devilish deeds to a shocked world. At Potsdam, the Allies divided the Fatherland into four zones as Germans, hated by all nations, began rebuilding their devastated land.
There have been few reports about the suffering Germans had to endure after the war. The peace treaty, while giving hope to the West Germans, did not alleviate the suffering of millions of East German refugees, forced from their homes by the Soviets. Starving and exhausted, few survived the treks during the harsh winter. Consequently, bodies of all ages littered frozen ditches, a toll of the elements, and a sacrifice of Naziism that most of them had not supported.
Emmy Guddat and her four children managed to arrive in the West despite near starvation and bodies riddled with boils only to move from one refugee camp to another. With God’s help, she had survived sixteen months of communism. With His help, she would also survive the abusive West Germans who considered refugees scum and dirt. Above all, God preserved the entire family, including the father whose whereabouts were not known for over three years.
In this true account, Liane Guddat Brown completes a bridge between the Berlin refugee camp, the place where her first book Refuge ends, and her new home in the United States of America. The span is replete with starvation, heartache, fear, and a search for relatives and freedom.
Continuing the story – From Fear to Freedom
Thank You, Lord!
Read her award-winning books, Refuge and From Fear to Freedom, as Liane Guddat Brown proclaims God’s sustaining grace proven through a family torn apart by war. “We still thank the Lord for bringing us to America,” she says. “For it was only by His grace that we survived at all, and, even more, that we would be allowed to live among the most privileged people in the world.”
More about the Author
When reading Refuge and From Fear to Freedom, you will learn a lot about Liane Guddat. And you know about her name change from Liane Guddat to Liane Brown. But what happens to Liane after the stories end? Luther and Liane Brown moved from Long Island to upstate New York, where they raised three children.
Both Emmy and Liane crafted exquisite Christmas décor to raise funds for their Russian missionary efforts throughout the years. Emmy’s husband wondered why she always had to keep so busy. “I have finally forgiven the Russians,” she replied. They purchased and distributed hundreds of Russian Bibles, donated funds to build a Ukrainian church, and helped support several Russian families.
Upon Luther’s retirement from IBM, Luther and Liane moved closer to the Guddats in Florida. Thirty years later, they celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary in their new hometown of Chattanooga, Tennessee. They have nine grandchildren and an ever-increasing number of great-grandchildren.
On a Final Note
Just in case you were wondering how Refuge and From Fear to Freedom relate to the ministry of DDCommunity, within these books, you will find more than 16 Christian leaders whose lives intertwine to find Christ relevant in wartime. Liane Brown shared the stories of these heroes who served as examples during the formative years of Melanie Lewis, co-founder of DDCommunity. Liane Brown is Melanie Lewis’ mother.
Here’s what people are saying about Refuge and From Fear to Freedom
Read Nancy Miller’s “Refuge” Is a Gift of Survival article.
In my now 60 years and as an avid reader, I have never read anything that touched me spiritually, emotionally, and historically as Refuge. A totally different perspective on my pampered existence, and sanitized Christianity. Thank you for providing what must have been a very painful account of your lifetime journey.Lynda
Thank you so much for writing Refuge. It truly opened my eyes to what happened in WWII. Your family went through an unimaginable ordeal and held fast to their faith in God. I am truly humble to read of everything you have been willing to share.
One of my favorite verses is Nahum 1:7. “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” Your story is a shining example of the truth in that verse.Elizabeth
This book was great. It brought history to life that is never talked about in school and gave life to a time period.Nancy
Thank you so much for writing the book Refuge. There are not enough words to express the impact of God’s miracles and your family’s faith has had on me. Truly God is great and greatly to be praised!Kay
Thank you for sharing your life, your story, your memories, and your faith with the world. Your faith and belief are inspiring. Your words are a beacon – showing determination and hope.Mary
Want to hear more?
Liane receives many invitations to speak at churches, schools, colleges, ladies’ retreats, and civic organizations. “Whenever I am asked to speak somewhere,” Liane says, “I am excited about telling what God has done in our lives. I am also happy to be able to thank the American people for having helped the Germans after WWII by sending clothing and food. As a speaker, I am thankful for the opportunity to share my joy of being a citizen of the United States and to convey my appreciation for the true freedom our family has found in this great land.”
If you are interested in scheduling Liane for a speaking engagement contact us.
Multiply Liane’s ministry
Gracious financial contributions enable Liane to multiply her ministry impact. She offers her gifts on a love-offering basis and requests that her travel expenses be covered. Because people ask, a reasonable fee for a speaker with Liane’s experience begins at $200/hour. She also asks that she be allowed to sell her books which convey her story in more detail.
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