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Danzig Passage

(Paperback - Mar 2005)
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Parable recommended!

Overview

Opening in 1936, the Zion Covenant series tells the courageous and compelling stories of those who risk everything to stand against the growing tide of Nazi terrorism that is sweeping through central Europe under the dangerous and deceitful guise of Hitler's Third Reich. A new study guide is included in each book.

Details

  • SKU: 9781414301112
  • SKU10: 1414301111
  • Title: Danzig Passage
  • Series: Zion Covenant (Paperback)
  • Qty Remaining Online: 9
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
  • Date Published: Mar 2005
  • Pages: 464
  • Weight lbs: 0.88
  • Dimensions: 8.22" L x 5.62" W x 1.22" H
  • Features: Price on Product, Maps
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical; Chronological Period | 1900-1949; Cultural Region | Germany; Ethnic Orientation | Jewish;
  • Category: FICTION, CHRISTIAN
  • Subject: Christian - Historical

Chapter Excerpt


Chapter One

Martyr

November 9, 1938

The face of Big Ben's clock glowed like a full moon behind a veil of London fog. The chimes of the great bell tower rang out eight o'clock and were answered by the lonely bellow of a foghorn.

Below the crenelated spires of Parliament, the black waters of the Thames slid toward the sea. It was Thursday night, and most of the theatres and concert halls in London were dark and empty. The panic that had swept through the city with rumors of impending war had been replaced with tranquility. Nearly everyone believed Prime Minister Chamberlain. Peace was at hand. The Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia had purchased "peace in our time." The citizens of London had put away their gas masks and filled in the trenches that had crisscrossed Hyde Park. Flags and bunting were hung from public buildings and streetlamps in anticipation of the celebrations planned for the twentieth anniversary of the Armistice. It had been twenty years since the end of the war to end all wars. This year England had plenty to celebrate. The lions of war had been tossed a small bone and placated at last!

Tonight, London was safe. Safe beneath her fog.

* * *

The black bowl of the sky above Galilee was dusted with ten thousand bright stars. An arch of gold and silver glittered in the Milky Way, the constellations almost lost against such a backdrop.

Sharon Zalmon knew the constellations by name. She had learned them all in an astronomy class at the university in Warsaw two years before. The sky above Poland was not quite like the sky above Galilee, however. The lights of the city of Warsaw obscured the glory which the shepherd David had written about in the days when Israel had been a great nation.

Tonight, on duty in the tiny Jewish settlement of Hanita, Sharon only glanced at the stars. There was no time for contemplating their glory, no time for writing new psalms. On this night there was no nation of Israel. There was only a memory of what had been, the hope of what could be once again.

Little could she know that on this night, as in the times of David, enemies hid in the dark ravines of Galilee. They crept toward the outpost where Sharon stood guard with an old shotgun. Their single purpose was to destroy the memory of what Israel had been and to make certain that the nation would never exist again on the soil of Zion. Kill the People of the Covenant! Kill the dream! Destroy forever the promise God made to the shepherd King, and to His people!

At the cry of jihad, holy war, enemies came from Jordan and Syria and Egypt and Iraq. They banded together, united by hatred, beneath the banner of the prophet Mohammed and Allah. Their shouts in the city of Jerusalem grew silent; now they moved through the darkness of Galilee beneath the peaceful stars. They slipped toward the tiny mound of sandbags where Sharon Zalmon kept watch, planning to inflict the dreamless peace of death upon her and all the Jews of Hanita.

It was early yet. Sharon scanned the black rolling hills beyond the perimeter of the settlement. Shifting the aged shotgun in her hands, she rested the heavy barrel on top of the sandbags.

Three minutes before, Lazlo had left her here and gone to patrol the barbed barricade between this position and the next. The Arab gangs had cut through the wire before and had killed settlers. For this reason, the settlement posted stationary guards like Sharon and moving patrols like Lazlo, who would make his rounds and return in a few minutes.

Something terrible was coming to the Jews of the Yishuv; after the Jerusalem riots, everyone believed it, even the British High Command. They had sent Captain Samuel Orde to help the Jews of Hanita. Sharon had heard of this Englishman who was known as Hayedid, "the friend." Scheduled to arrive tonight, he would no doubt be out here to make the rounds of the patrol. This thought made the night seem not quite so dark, the unseen enemy not so terrifying. Hayedid, the friend, would help them.

Sharon looked up briefly at the constellation of Orion as it moved toward her from the horizon. She could just make out the stars where the ancients said his sword hung from his belt. The stars remain unchanged since that time. Our dreams remain the same, she thought.

In that moment she heard the sound of a stone as it slithered down an embankment twenty paces from the barricade beyond her post!

The sound jerked her back to the present earth, back to this small patch of ground that the dreamers had purchased and cultivated and made to blossom from desolation. They must now defend it as well. They must not look up at the stars and dream, or all their dreams would be destroyed!

"Who is it?" she demanded. Her heart pounded as she tried to fix the exact location of the falling stone. Was it there, behind the outline of a boulder? or to the left, where the ground dropped steeply away? Or maybe it was behind her. Perhaps it was only the footstep of Lazlo as he made his rounds.

She lifted the heavy barrel of the shotgun and pointed it out toward the boulder. If someone was there, he would not escape the blast of a shotgun. Lazlo had showed her. She did not have to take careful aim. The small pellets of this old British hunting gun would down a Holy Struggler like a pheasant rising from a bush. Still, the sound of movement left Sharon frightened. What might be beyond the reach of the shotgun's range? Her mouth went dry; she licked her lips and listened. What had she heard?

"Is someone out there?" she asked again. Her voice sounded small and vulnerable in the night. She wished Lazlo would hurry. She thought of calling an alarm, but what if it was nothing?

The silhouette of the land stretched out like an unmoving sea beneath the rolling star scape. Surely, Sharon thought, she would see movement if the stone had shifted outside the barbed-wire fence!

Why did Lazlo not return? Was it not time for him to call out the password and leap into the circle of sandbags?

At that instant another stone clattered down a few feet from her. She opened her mouth to call out the alarm just as a hand clamped down hard on her mouth.

Sharon Zalmon had no chance to scream.

Searing hot pain filled her. She felt terror and then a rush of warmth as she was pushed down onto the dirt floor of the outpost. She blinked twice in amazement at the brightness of the stars above Galilee and the realization that she was seeing them for the last time. Then the dreams died. Just that quickly, it was finished. The darkness of the land overwhelmed the brightness of the skies above Galilee, and the peace of death came once again for a child of the Covenant.

* * *

The German Führer promised weapons for the revolt of the Mufti's army against the Jews and the British. He made good on that promise.

On a dark field in Jordan, Haj Amin Husseini walked through the stacks of heavy crates containing rifles and ammunition from Germany. He felt the satisfaction of a man with great power behind him.

As Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin had also kept a promise to Hitler. He had issued the call for jihad, a holy war against the Jews and English infidels. Riots even now rolled across Palestine. These thousands of weapons would assure victory and an Islamic kingdom for Haj Amin.

For a time, to be sure, Haj Amin was forced to flee from the English law, which even now pursued him for inciting the riots in Jerusalem. But Haj Amin had no doubts about the ultimate outcome. He had Adolf Hitler behind him-an ally almost as powerful as the prophet Mohammed and the Koran! Both Hitler and the prophet proclaimed the destruction of the Jews. The Islamic religion provided passion to the people, while Hitler supplied crates of weapons and Nazi commandos to help accomplish that goal.

The three motors of the silver German airplane sputtered to life. Haj Amin extended his hand to each of his faithful commanders and the fair-skinned Germans among them. They would carry on while he was in exile. He had communications in place which assured that orders from Berlin and Baghdad would be followed with the same devotion as if he remained in Jerusalem.

"Allah is great." Ram Kadar bowed low before Haj Amin. "It will be a short time before you will return to us as king in Jerusalem."

These words made Haj Amin smile. "It has been two thousand years since any king has ruled over Jerusalem alone. I have seen the prophet in a dream, Kadar; the promise is given to me! Soon, indeed, I will sit on the throne, and you will sit at my right hand."

Others kissed his hand as he passed through the ranks. All vowed to finish what they had begun. There would be no more Zionist settlers. A new Arab kingdom would take the orchards and the fields the Jews had cultivated and distribute the bounty among the true believers. Thus it was written, and thus it would be accomplished.

The final words of the Mufti were almost drowned out by the hum of the engines. As he boarded the plane to flee from British justice, the Jihad Moquades repeated his words over and over to one another.

"This is only the beginning! The prophet has promised us victory in the Mother of All Battles against Jews and infidels! Only the start! The world and Paradise belong to those who believe this!"

The plane had barely lifted off the crudely constructed airfield before the Holy Strugglers cheered and cracked open the crates of new rifles and bullets-enough to kill every Englishman and Jew three times over. The Mother of All Battles against Jews had begun, even as it began throughout the Reich of the German Führer, Adolf Hitler.

* * *

It was early evening in Berlin. The headquarters of the Gestapo on Albrechstrasse was lit up; each department prepared for the monumental task ahead tonight.

Teletypes clacked an urgent directive to every police headquarters across the Reich. What had begun in Munich and spread to Berlin must now be enacted in every city, large or small, with even one Jew as a resident.

It was a night unlike any other in the history of Germany-perhaps in the history of the world.

Lists of Jewish names and businesses, compiled over long and arduous months of work, were reproduced and transmitted to the appropriate authorities. Within an hour, the roads of Hitler's Third Reich were packed with truckloads of eager Storm Troopers dressed in civilian clothing and studying the names of Jews in the neighboring towns where they were assigned to duty. No man was allowed to participate in the demonstration in his own neighborhood, lest he come across a Jewish neighbor and take pity. Instead, the targeted victims would all be strangers to the troops. Thus the Jews became impersonal, generic vermin of the sort the Führer raved about in his speeches. "Every Jew an enemy-man, woman, child-no better than bacilli, whose purpose is to infect the pure Aryan race!"

Destinations were predetermined. Targets had been marked long before Herschel Grynspan ever contemplated the assassination of Ernst vom Rath in Paris. The orders came directly from the top, inviolate and explicit in their instruction.

To: All State Police Headquarters and Branch Offices: All Secret Service Commands in the main and subdivisions . Subject: Measures to be taken against Jews tonight Urgent! Immediate delivery!

As a result of the death of Embassy Secretary Ernst vom Rath in Paris, anti-Jewish demonstrations are to be expected throughout the Reich tonight. The following instructions will be observed:

1. Demonstrations against the Jews and their synagogues will take place shortly. Measures will be taken to protect German lives and property (e.g., synagogues may be set on fire as long as there is no danger of spreading flames to neighboring buildings).

A. Jewish shops and homes may be destroyed but not looted.

B. The officers assigned this duty will proceed to arrest as many Jews in all districts as the available jail space will hold. Primarily well-to-do Jews will be chosen.

The German attention to detail had been honed to its sharpest cutting edge for just such a night. Those who had conceived the idea and brought the plan to reality smiled pleasantly at one another as they raised their wineglasses in congratulations.

Tonight was a night unlike any other in the history of Germany, after all. What nation had ever brought such discipline and organization to the goals of violence, destruction, and chaos?

* * *

A thick file filled with memos, letters, and photographs of the traitors lay open on the coffee table in front of Adolf Hitler. Others in the room, sitting across from the Führer, cocked their heads in an attempt to read the upside-down writing beneath the Gestapo insignia.

Hitler relaxed in his favorite overstuffed chair. He held up the photograph showing Thomas von Kleistmann crucified on a cross of ordinary planks taken from the scaffolding construction site on Albrechtstrasse. He leaned forward briefly and picked out the picture of Ernst vom Rath, dead on a hospital bed in Paris.

"Traitors, both of them," he commented.

In the background, a recording replayed the voices of Ernst vom Rath's father and another man who sounded near to tears.

"Herr vom Rath, every Jew in Germany deplores the murder of your dear son"

The Führer raised a finger to stop the recording. "And who is this again?"

"A neighbor of the vom Rath family. A Jew. He is the cantor of the neighborhood synagogue. Come to beg for pardon, I suppose."

"Play it over again," Hitler ordered calmly.

"Herr vom Rath, every Jew in Germany deplores the murder of your dear son by one of our own."

"It was not a Jew who killed Ernst." The elder vom Rath's voice cracked with grief. "Ernst was no Nazi, and it was the Nazis who have had him assassinated. I know who killed him. It was Hitler and his vipers."

Hitler's expression remained placid, unchanged, as he listened. Those in the room with him eyed their leader with alarm, expecting rage at such words from the mouth of Ernst vom Rath's father.

The recording continued uninterrupted. "But my friend," said the Jewish cantor, "it was not the Nazis, but a foolish young Jewish boy. We grieve with you-"

"No, Reverend," protested vom Rath. "I know what you think, but the Nazis are behind it. Ernst was too outspoken. Last time I saw him he seem troubled . as though he knew."

Once again Hitler raised his finger as though the recording bored him. It was stopped, and he shuffled through the thick folder again, laying photographs of the two dead men side by side.

"Both traitors," he muttered.

Continues.

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