THOMAS J. ABBOT
BYU Studies has published a new book dealing with the isolation felt by members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Eastern Europe and especially Germany.
“Behind the Iron Curtain: Recollections of Latter-day Saints in East Germany, 1945-1989” is one result of collections and translations of personal interviews and histories of faithful East German Saints. The book was gathered and compiled by Garold N. Davis, professor of Germanic and Slavic languages, and his wife, Norma S. Davis, associate professor of humanities, classics and comparative literature.
Besides focusing on the trials of East German Latter-day Saints isolated from the rest of the church, the book also highlights the saints’ eventual triumphs over adversity and the building of the temple in Freiberg.
The Davises also served as missionaries in Dresden, East Germany, during 1989 and 1990 before the Iron Curtain came down.
Research for the book began when the Davises started recording firsthand accounts and experiences of those with whom they made contact.
The book relates the accounts and feelings of faithful Latter-day Saints who witnessed the expulsion of missionaries and felt the effects of isolation from the church after the rise of the Iron Curtain.
Families tell of how they coped with the persecution of their faith and bans on church literature.
In the book, Latter-day Saints also express their feelings concerning the return of missionaries to their land and the building and dedication of a temple in their country.
BYU Studies, sponsored by the LDS church and subsidized by the university since 1959, publishes a wide variety of scholarly studies on LDS topics.
Copies of “Behind the Iron Curtain: Recollections of Latter-day Saints in East Germany, 1945-1989,” can be purchased at 403 CB or wherever LDS books are sold.