Refuge and From Fear to Freedom (2 books in 1) Focus on Untold Story of East German Christians Under Soviet Occupation
The untold story of the fate of ordinary Germans in East Germany during and after World War II is highlighted in a news release. Refuge and From Fear to Freedom, a re-release by Redemption Press (October 2019), combines both titles, initially published in 1987 and 1993, into one volume. The first-person account by Liane I. Brown shares the struggles of her Christian East Prussian family to survive amid the horrors of WW II and God’s faithfulness to them.
Tell Us More about Refuge and From Fear to Freedom!
Thousands of stories have been told about the deprivation and horrors of the Second World War. Still, one aspect has received little attention: the story of the East Prussian villagers, grandparents, wives, and children who had as little control over their future as the victims of the concentration camps. Those who lived in the western part of the country could rebuild their lives after 1945 with the help of the Allied Forces. Those, however, living under Russian control in the eastern part of the country were treated brutally, misused, forced to live without sustenance, and had to endure around-the-clock harassment. Anyone who managed to escape death was mercilessly chased west.
Emmy Guddat and her four children found refuge in the Neumark district of Germany, while Emil Guddat, a non-Nazi, was conscripted to serve as a supply officer in the German army. Escape from the town of Lippehne in January of 1945 became impossible because of the swiftly advancing Russian army. Starvation, constant harassment, and death surrounded the family. Only prayer and total reliance upon God miraculously opened a way of escape to freedom in Berlin.
Living in different refugee camps in the American and British zones for four years became years of testing and depravity. After Emil Guddat’s return from a POW camp in Algiers, Africa, his seven-and-a-half-year separation from the family miraculously ended. Starting a business in the West was most difficult for refugees despised by their compatriots. Through the efforts of Emil’s sister, Martha, in the United States of America, daughter Liane was the first to emigrate to America. In 1958 God used the kindness of a Christian family from Long Island, NY, to sponsor entry to the USA for the remaining members of the family.
Who Should Read Refuge and From Fear to Freedom?
Students of all ages. Today only one side of WWII is taught in schools. The stories of ordinary Germans during and after WWII are avoided. Only a few educated adults, learners of history, know some facts regarding the struggles of the common German population from the East.
The Florida State Association of the National League of the American Pen Women awarded Refuge first place in the 1989 biographical book competition. The sequel From Fear to Freedom won first place in the non-fiction category by the Florida State Association of the National League of the American Pen Women competition in 1993.
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.
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 to speak,
On a Final Note
Just in case you were wondering how Refuge and From Fear to Freedom relates 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.