Yesterday was not a good day for Germany or the Amish. Today is a good day for me, Gerd Hirschberg.
Yesterday, a huge cloud of dust rising over the hills beyond Ixheim, Germany, but it is not a dust storm, for the ground is still wet from the spring rains, there are no dry fields to surrender their soil to the hungry winds. No, it is tanks, and an army, marching into the Rhineland. Herr Hitler has kept his promise. He will stick his finger in the eye of the French who have lorded it over Germany since 1918. Many Germans think this is a great day, but for Germany, I can only see Gefährliche Tage, bad days. And for the Amish it is especially hard, for the Nazis asked us to forget our promise to do evil to no man. They want us to join them in their cleansing of Germany, They want us to turn in Jews and communists, gypsies, homosexuals, all those who do not fit into their dream of the great Aryan nation that will rule the world. This is not good, and it breaks the heart of our God.
But today—a good day! A very good day! My life has changed. I met her, Emily, or should I say I found her. She was hiding in my barn. She is a Jew. The Nazis have taken her parents and killed her brother. She wants to go to France, but the border is closed. She asked me for help, she offered to give me a golden lampstand, she called it a menorat ḥanukkah. But I could not take it, because from the moment I saw her, she took my heart. Tall, dark hair, green eyes, a laugh like bells and ice. I must help her, if it means losing my own life.
How do these days come upon us?
All my life I was a simple Amish Farmer, though I do not want to be a farmer. I want to raise horses, beautiful horses. I have always wanted to raise horses, but my father was against it. He said it was too worldly and would put me among people who would pollute me, challenge my faith. He said I would never amount to anything. I would always be just a farmer. Winning praise from him was like drawing poison from a wound.
He would tell me the story of my family coming from Switzerland two hundred years ago and buying this farm. “You are the son of a farmer, who is the son of a farmer, and all the way back to the first Hirschberg, farming on the slopes of a great mountain in the Alps. You will never be anything but a farmer. You are not fit for anything else. This is your land and you will die here.”
But now it is my father who is dead. He was angry with me because I told him I did not want his farm. His heart gave out. I am sorry. I did not mean to cause his death. Now I am the master of the most prosperous farm in Ixheim. The elders came to me and said because I am now important, I must become an elder of the Church.
But I have met Emily. She told me about America, about the horses in the West, about Colorado and mountains that go clear to the sky. I think now, I will sell my farm, and take Emily and my mother and we will go to America. It will be hard, for I insulted the new Oberführer of our district and he is watching me. If he finds Emily, we will all go to Dachau. If we go there, we will die there.
Bad days and good days—sometimes you cannot tell the difference.
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My Story Title: The Amish Menorah
(From The Amish Menorah and Other Storiesby The Men of Amish Fiction)
My Story Genre: Amish Historical Fiction
My Story Released: May 2020
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Amazon Best-Selling author Patrick Craig, is a lifelong writer and musician who left a successful music career to become a pastor in 1986. In 2007 he retired to concentrate on writing and publishing fiction books. In 2011, Patrick signed a three-book deal with Harvest House Publishers to publish his Apple Creek Dreams series. His self-published books, The Amish Heiress, The Amish Princess, and The Mennonite Queen, as well as the reprinted Apple Creek Dreams are now published by Patrick’s imprint, P&J Publishing. In 2017, Harlequin Publishing purchased The Amish Heiress for their Walmart Amish series and released it in April 2019.
Patrick and co-author Murray Pura have just released Far On The Ringing Plains, Book 1 in a nine book series that will take in the whole sweep of men and women at war from WW II to the current Desert Campaigns. The have also collaborated on an anthology of realistic Amish stories written with the four other men who write Amish fiction: Willard Carpenter, Jerry Eicher, Thomas Nye and Amos Wyse. The Amish Menorah and Other Stories was published by Elk Lake Publishing in May of 2020. The six authors are currently collaborating on A Christmas Collection which will be released in November. Patrick has also recently released two books in his YA mystery series, The Adventures of Punkin and Boo, with Elk Lake Publishing. They are The Mystery of Ghost Dancer Ranch and The Lost Coast. Patrick and his wife Judy live in Idaho. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.
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- Website: www.patrickecraig.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PatrickECraig
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/PatrickECraig
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/patricke.craig/
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WHERE can the book be purchased?
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