"The Apostle Paul also spoke of this hidden mystery in the Book of Colossians. In his letter to them he wrote, in Chapter I verse 26, 'The mystery which has been hid from ages and from generations,"'
Mr. von Ludendorff looked up again, lifted his eyes above the congregation as though he was seeing something above their heads and said,
"The Scriptures say, 'Awake thou that sleepest, arise from the dead and Christ shall give thee light.' Thank God that He gave 'light' to me as a young man of seventeen and revealed this incredible enigma. What is this most remarkable mystery? What is this amazing secret that God has hidden from all the eyes and ears of humanity?"
Jerry was at a fever pitch. He felt like calling out,
"Tell me what it is! Please tell me!"
The tall preacher seemed to read Jerry’s thoughts. He smiled and said,
"I am going to tell you what this mystery is. God hasn't left us in the dark. Please turn with me to . . . " He paused in mid‑sentence and stared at his wife with a look of fear! Everyone knew what had stopped him from finishing his sentence. It was the sound of fast‑moving cars. It was the unmistakable sound of boots; soldiers’ boots. Mr. von Ludendorff closed his eyes and whispered,
"Dear God; please . . . not my children."
Suddenly the door burst open and Nazi soldiers filled the tiny room. They seized a family of four who were wearing yellow stars of David, and thrust them outside. The officer in charge had papers in his hand and he seemed to know exactly who he was looking for. It was strange that they were the only ones arrested.
Jerry felt sick with fear as a member of the Gestapo looked over the family’s documents. After glaring at Jerry, his mother and sister, the officer stamped "May 14, 1938‑‑SS" on their papers and spat out that they were to leave and never enter the home again.
The experience so scared Jerry, it was a date he vowed he would never forget: May 14, 1938. They didn't have to be told twice to leave.
They heard that in other parts of Germany the Nazis had entered church meetings and sent the people home, but they thought they were safe in Waldenberg.
At school, Jerry made another friend named Steffen, who wasn't as close to him as Karl. He'd had a different influence on Jerry's life. He was the one with whom he smoked cigarettes in the cramped hideout under the floor of the bakery.
Two days after the incident at church, Steffen banged on the Adamson's door. When it was opened, wide‑eyed and between breaths he sputtered out,
"They've taken away the von Ludendorffs!"
"Who has?" Samuel demanded. The boy looked scared and said,
Samuel knew that as pacifists, the von Ludendorffs had refused to teach their children Nazi ideology. He heard that after the church service had been broken up, there was some sort of court hearing set in motion. The details were in the local newspaper that night under the heading "Enemies of the State." This is what he read:
"Waldenberg: The courts have had parents removed from their children. They deemed two members of a Christian sect called, 'The International Bible Researchers,' Mr. & Mrs. Otto von Ludendorff unfit to be parents of their two children. The court accused them of creating an environment where the children would grow up as enemies of the state. The children were delivered into the state's care. The judge delivered a lengthy statement reading in part, ‘The law as a racial and national instrument entrusts German parents with the education of their children only under certain conditions, namely, that they educate them in the fashion that the nation and the state expect.’"
Samuel looked up at Esther. She could see the concern in his eyes. He put the newspaper down and gazed towards the door, then back at her and said,
"We've got to leave this place."
To be continued.