Quakers and Nazis: Inner Light in Outer Darkness

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9780826211347: Quakers and Nazis: Inner Light in Outer Darkness
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Why the title Quakers and Nazis, not Quakers against Nazis? Was not hostility part of the interaction between the two groups? On the contrary, Hans A. Schmitt's compelling story describes American, British, and German Quakers' attempts to mitigate the suffering among not only victims of Nazism but Nazi sympathizers in Austria and Lithuania as well.

With numerous poignant illustrations of the pressure and social cost involved in being a Quaker from 1933 to 1945, Quakers and Nazis: Inner Light in Outer Darkness reveals a facet of Nazi Germany that is entirely unknown to most people. The book focuses on the heroic acts foreign and German Quakers performed under the Nazi regime, offering fully documented and original information regarding the Quakers' commitment to nonviolence and the relief of the victims.

Schmitt's narrative reveals the stress and tension of the situation. How should a Quaker behave in a meeting for worship with a policeman present? Spies did not stop Friends in worship services from openly criticizing Hitler and Göring, but Nazis did inflict torment on Friends. Yet Friends did not, could not, respond in like manner. Olga Halle was one Friend who worked to get people, mostly Jews, out of Germany until America entered the war. When emigration was outlawed, twenty-eight were stranded. Years later her distress was still so deep that even on her deathbed she recited their names.

Schmitt reminds us that virtually all the Berlin Quakers secreted Jews throughout the war. He shows how these brave Quakers opposed the Nazis even after they lost their jobs and had been harassed by the Gestapo. Risking their lives, the Friends persisted in their efforts to alleviate suffering.

At a time when the scholarly world is divided as to whether all Germans knew and approved of the Final Solution, this book makes a valuable contribution to the discussion. Quakers—despite their small numbers—played, and continue to play, an important role in twentieth-century humanitarian relief. Quakers and Nazis: Inner Light in Outer Darkness, a study of how Friends performed under the extreme pressure of a totalitarian regime, will add significantly to our general understanding of Quaker and German history.

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Review:

Hans Schmitt knows well the humanitarian work performed by German Quakers during World War II--he was a recipient of their kindness and faith. In a world torn by hate and war, the Society of Friends ministered to all people in pain--Jews and Nazis alike--while risking their lives during meetings in open opposition to Hitler's Reich. In this excellent historical account of both German Quakers and Germany itself, Schmitt details the lives of the Quakers, their fearless work of peace, and the criticism they received for not choosing sides.

About the Author:

Hans A. Schmitt is Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Virginia. He is the author or editor of several books, including Lucky Victim: An Ordinary Life in Extraordinary Times.

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Book Description University of Missouri Press, United States, 1997. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Why the title Quakers and Nazis, not Quakers against Nazis? Was not hostility part of the interaction between the two groups? On the contrary, Hans A. Schmitt s compelling story describes American, British, and German Quakers attempts to mitigate the suffering among not only victims of Nazism but Nazi sympathizers in Austria and Lithuania as well. With numerous poignant illustrations of the pressure and social cost involved in being a Quaker from 1933 to 1945, Quakers and Nazis: Inner Light in Outer Darkness reveals a facet of Nazi Germany that is entirely unknown to most people. The book focuses on the heroic acts foreign and German Quakers performed under the Nazi regime, offering fully documented and original information regarding the Quakers commitment to non-violence and the relief of the victims. At a time when the scholarly world is divided as to whether all Germans knew and approved of the Final Solution, this book makes a valuable contribution to the discussion. Quakers - despite their small numbers - played, and continue to play, an important role in twentieth-century humanitarian relief. Quakers and Nazis: Inner Light in Outer Darkness, a study of how Friends performed under the extreme pressure of a totalitarian regime, will add significantly to our general understanding of Quaker and German history. Seller Inventory # TNP9780826211347

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