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Gypsies, Genetics and the Aryan Church:  Germany in 1939
Dr. Orville Boyd Jenkins
A review of the book by Bill Shumaker
Lost Pulse (Humboldt, Tennessee:  Deo Volente Publishing, 2004.  287p)

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When I read this novel in early 2004, it was the first novel I had read in four or maybe 5 years.  My review of this book was also the occasion for my first book review for Amazon.

In the 1980s, I read very much in historical fiction.  It was a good way to get an active orientation to periods and people in history.  I mapped out a systematic reading list to read from the Norman Conquest to the early modern period.  As I would read a novel, I would consult technical authorities, and read history books, biographies and related "real information" to correlate the life-stories and events to objective history.

Lost Pulse gave me a new impetus to include fiction topics in my reading once again.  I was drawn to break my fiction fast because a close friend and colleague wrote this book.  I am also interested in the cultural dynamics of the historical period the novel covers.  This book is a historical fiction set in Germany in WWII, dealing with the dynamics of Nazi Germany and the challenge to Christians in that era.  Bill includes an extensive bibliography.  He has researched the period, the topic and the cultural trends extensively.

Rich Characters
I was impressed with the richness and consistency of the characters.  They were realistic and believable.  The internal dialogue of each character seemed to represent realistic thought processes, and established that character's personality and role in the drama.

The characters in this novel are not just stock, stereotyped characters.  They are rounded, complex characters, like real human beings, whom the reader can identify with, react to, be appalled by, feel sympathy for and build relationships with, to become part of the ethos of the story.

Historical Insights
We learn more about the Gypsies than most WWII sources give us.  The gypsies suffered great persecution and loss of life as well as the Jews.  This novel includes them as protagonists, working with others to create strategies of protection and escape.

The author gives us the inside story of the Lebensborn genetic engineering project.  Young Germans had to face the facts and deal with their own moral decisions in response to the early Nazi challenges in 1939.  Christian pastors had to face the personal crisis of conscience when commanded by the state to violate basic values of the Christian faith.

The Nazi Aryan Church
I learned some historical and cultural details I was previously unaware of.  I had not realized that in molding the church to the evil cultural vision of one superior "Aryan" race, Hitler actually constructed a new German national church.  The details Bill threads through this story bring to life the challenges and conflicts the characters face.

Read This Book
This book will appeal to anyone interested in serious reading about World War II, about cultural conflict and about the role of religion in culture or politics.  I would recommend a movie be made of this story.  Read this book.

See this book on Amazon.com with my other review.
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Many other books have review notes with the entry


Original reading notes and Amazon.com review written 21 January 2005
New review article written and Posted on Thoughts and Resources 13 August 2007
Last edited 6 March 2009

Orville Boyd Jenkins, EdD, PhD
Copyright © 2007 Orville Boyd Jenkins
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use.  Other rights reserved.

Email:  orville@jenkins.nu
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