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Franz Jagerstatter: Letters and Writings from Prison [Paperback]

By Erna Putz (Editor) & Robert A. Krieg (Translator)
Our Price $ 21.25  
Retail Value $ 25.00  
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Item Number 435830  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   252
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.08" Width: 6.26" Height: 0.64"
Weight:   0.89 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2009
Publisher   Orbis Books (USA)
ISBN  1570758263  
EAN  9781570758263  


Availability  2 units.
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Item Description...
Overview
An inspiring testament of faith and courage from a modern martyr of conscience. "My dear loved ones, the hour draws ever nearer when I shall give my soul back to God..." Franz Jagerstatter, an Austrian farmer, devoted husband and father, and devout Catholic, was executed in 1943 for refusing to serve in the Nazi army. Before taking this stand Jagerstatter had consulted both his pastor and his local bishop, who instructed him to do his duty and to obey the law-an instruction that violated his conscience. For many years Jagerstatter's solitary witness was honored by the Catholic peace movement, while viewed with discomfort by many of his fellow Austrians.Now, with his beatification in 2007, his example has been embraced by the universal church.He stands as one of the great martyrs of our time. These writings, including the correspondence between Franz and his wife Franziska and a series of reflections written in prison, represent the first complete English translation of his writings. An introduction by Jim Forest sets these writings in the context of Franz's life and times, and draws out their meaning for today. Blessed Franz's moving expression of faith and his unswerving obedience to conscience carry an urgent and timeless message.

Publishers Description
Franz Jgersttter, an Austrian farmer, a devoted husband and father, and a devout Catholic, was executed in 1943 as a result of his refusal to serve in the Nazi army. Before taking this stand Jgersttter consulted both his pastor and his local bishop, who instructed him to do his duty to the fatherland and to obey the lawan instruction that violated his conscience. For many years Jgersttter's solitary witness was honored by the Catholic peace movement, while viewed with discomfort by many of his fellow Austrians. Now, with his beatification in 2007, his witness has been embraced by the universal church. He stands as one of the great witnesses and martyrs of our time.

These writings, including correspondence between Franz and his wife Franziska and a series of reflections written in prison, represent the first English translation of Jgersttter's writings. An introduction by Jim Forest and notes by the translator, Robert Krieg, set these writings in the context of Franz's life and times. His moving expression of faith and his unswerving obedience to conscience carry an urgent message for today: "Although people have accused me of criminal behavior and condemned me to death, be consoled knowing that in God's eyes not everything is criminal which the world perceives to be criminal]]"

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
a book about a supremely ethical person  Feb 11, 2010
Franz Jagerstatter's writings about his ethical and religious life are something every 20th century person should read. He was truly an authentic man who took responsibility for his actions. From a rural, little formal education, somewhat of a hell-raising background he charted a true and unwavering course through a great social and political upheaval and recorded his thoughts for us. This book is on a par with Merton's Seven Storey Mountain and Augustine's Confessions.
 
the writings of a framer who said no to Hitler  May 9, 2009
Not many people in the German-Austrian Hitler's Third Reich dared say to no to the government's demands. One of the exceptions was an Austrian farmer, Franz Jagerstatter. For refusing to serve in the army, he was beheaded in Berlin in 1943.

Not only did he see the nature of Nazism with extraordinary clarity but, despite his modest education, was able to write with a freshness that remains compelling. Thanks to Orbis Books, we now have an English translation of all Jagerstatter's letters and other writings, all written while he was a prisoner. The result is an inspiring testament of faith and courage.

Before refusing to serve in the German-Austrian army, Jagerstatter consulted both his pastor and his local bishop, who - no doubt reluctantly - advised him to do his duty and to obey the law. His neighbors, though themselves were unsympathetic with Nazism, had the same opinion.

In one of the memorable sections of this book, Jagerstatter describes a dream which stood behind his conscientious objection. In it he saw "a wonderful train" coming round a mountain. The gleaming engine and carriages seemed especially attractive to children, who "flowed to this train, and were not held back." Then a voice said to him, "This train is going to hell." He woke his wife to tell her of his dream and continued to think about it long afterward. The train, he realized, symbolized the glittering Nazi regime with all its spectacles and its associated organizations, Hitler Youth being one of the most important and corrupting. The dream seemed to Franz a message from heaven. The Nazi movement -- with its racism, its cult of violence, its elimination of those members of society regarded as unfit, its efforts to suppress Christianity -- was satanic. It was nothing less than a gateway to hell.

For many years Jagerstatter's solitary witness was honored by the Christian peace movement, while viewed with discomfort by many of his fellow Austrians. Now, following his beatification in 2007, he has become known around the world as one of the great martyrs of our time - and, like all martyrs, a challenge to the rest of us.

I was asked to write the book's introduction. Here is a two-paragraph extract:

"Franz Jagerstatter was one of the least likely persons to question the justifications for war being announced daily by those in charge or to say to no to the demands of his government. What did he know? And, for that matter, who would care about his perceptions? He was only a farmer. He had never been to a university or theological school. His formal education had occurred entirely in a one-room schoolhouse. Though active in his parish, which he served as sexton, he was not a person whose name would ring a bell for his bishop. No priest or bishop or theologian, no matter how critical of Nazi doctrine, was announcing it was a sin to obey the commands of the Hitler regime when it came to war. So far as he knew none of his fellow Catholics in Austria, even those who openly disagreed with Nazi ideology, had failed to report for military duty when the notice came.

"How could so unimportant a person dare to have such important convictions? How could a humble Catholic farmer imagine he had a clearer conscience than those who led the Church in his homeland? And, in any event, didn't his responsibility to his wife and children have priority over his views about war and government?"
 

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