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2005, Gramma Books, Copenhagen (English language edition). 221 pages, hardback, black and white photographs. 23.5x16cm.
In this vivid and captivating autobiography, Hermine Schmidt describes her happy childhood years in the city of Danzig. Her adolescence is shattered when the Nazis take over the city and arrest her because of her religious beliefs as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. After a harrowing “trial” before a Nazi judge, Hermine is sent to the Stutthof concentration camp, where she endures and witnesses unspeakable horrors.
Unfettered Joy tells the dramatic story of an almost miraculous rescue. Set adrift on a barge, Hermine and 370 other famished camp inmates spend terrifying days in mine-laden waters, finally landing at the small port of Klintholm in Mon, Denmark, where Danish friends are ready with care and comfort.
During years of persecution and Nazi captivity, Hermine Schmidt found emotional shelter in her positive outlook and firm faith in God. Hers is a story of unforgettable optimism.
This autobiographical account is also portrayed in part in the drama The Girl with the Purple Triangle, available in DVD format from Golden Age Books.
“Hermine’s sharing of her life experiences with us is a precious gift to be treasured both by those who share her faith and those who stand outside it. … We owe Hermine and her fellow Witnesses who stood up to Nazism a tremendous debt. From them we learn what is possible and what is necessary.” -Prof. Christine King, Staffordshire University
“Hermine Schmidt’s book reveals that is was written with her life-blood. … in a double sense she gives testimony: She testifies about the horrors of the concentration camp, which must be difficult to put into words (but necessary for the instruction of future generations), and she testifies about the power of her faith, an unshakeable fundamental confidence in the Bible’s promises and a joy preserved through all the depth of human existence.” -Dr. Detlef Garbe, Neuengamme Concentration Camp Memorial