Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis

Mission at Nuremberg is Tim Townsend s gripping story of the American Army chaplain sent to save the souls of the Nazis incarcerated at Nuremberg, a compelling and thought provoking tale that raises questions of faith, guilt, morality, vengeance, forgiveness, salvation, and the essence of humanity.Lutheran minister Henry Gerecke was fifty years old when he enlisted as am AMission at Nuremberg is Tim Townsend s gripping story of the American Army chaplain sent to save the souls of the Nazis incarcerated at Nuremberg, a compelling and thought provoking tale that raises questions of faith, guilt, morality, vengeance, forgiveness, salvation, and the essence of humanity.Lutheran minister Henry Gerecke was fifty years old when he enlisted as am Army chaplain during World War II As two of his three sons faced danger and death on the battlefield, Gerecke tended to the battered bodies and souls of wounded and dying GIs outside London At the war s end, when other soldiers were coming home, Gerecke was recruited for the most difficult engagement of his life ministering to the twenty one Nazis leaders awaiting trial at Nuremburg.Based on scrupulous research and first hand accounts, including interviews with still living participants and featuring sixteen pages of black and white photos, Mission at Nuremberg takes us inside the Nuremburg Palace of Justice, into the cells of the accused and the courtroom where they faced their crimes As the drama leading to the court s final judgments unfolds, Tim Townsend brings to life the developing relationship between Gerecke and Hermann Georing, Albert Speer, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and other imprisoned Nazis as they awaited trial.Powerful and harrowing, Mission at Nuremberg offers a fresh look at one most horrifying times in human history, probing difficult spiritual and ethical issues that continue to hold meaning, forcing us to confront the ultimate moral question Are some men so evil they are beyond redemption
Mission at Nuremberg An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis Mission at Nuremberg is Tim Townsend s gripping story of the American Army chaplain sent to save the souls of the Nazis incarcerated at Nuremberg a compelling and thought provoking tale that raises q

  • Title: Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis
  • Author: TimTownsend
  • ISBN: 9780061997198
  • Page: 440
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis”

    1. I ABSOLUTELY loved this book! Almost gave it less than 5 stars due to the first 100 pages being a little dry with Chaplain Gerecke's early biography info, but realized his early life was necessary to understanding the compassion and drive behind the man.The book is pretty tough (as are all books dealing with the Holocaust) in parts; in fact I changed my reading time from before bed to mid-day so I could sleep better at night during those places in the books dealing with the Nazi crimes. No lie.H [...]

    2. Reverend Henry Gerecke embodied every stereotype and cliche of a mild mannered, midwestern pastor, but has Tim Townsend demonstrated in Mission At Nuremberg, his outward appearance aside, he was an extraordinary man. Age 51 when a shortage of chaplains caused the Army to greatly increase the age of those allowed to serve, Rev. Gerecke was soon found himself in the midst of one of the most pivotal points of World War II, the Battle of the Bulge. Because of the care he showed for his men during th [...]

    3. This is the first book I've read that lends any amount of human decency to the orchestrators of Hitlers most evil plan to establish the Pure Aryan race. I guess I always just thought of them as purely evil. However, to read that this Lutheran minister actually touched a little corner of the souls, seriously tarnished as they were, of some of these men helped me to reconsider the concept of forgiveness. I cannot understand the blind allegiance to such a monster, nor can I ever condone the actions [...]

    4. I'm still digesting this book, the topic is interesting & intriguing yet was very, very dry. I wanted to hear more about this man's wrestling with this calling of being a chaplain to the highest ranking Nazis war criminals. What jumped out were these theological tangents that were distracting not to mention misplaced, most of the theological works cited would have not been accessible to a Midwestern Lutheran pastor, mostly because they weren't published yet! so to cite as justification for G [...]

    5. Based on the religious rights clause of the Geneva Convention, Henry Gerecke, a Lutheran pastor from St. Louis, was called to minister to Nazi leaders on death row. Some wondered how he could comfort these Nazis who had caused the world so much heartache? How could he minister to the leaders of a movement that had taken millions of lives? He was even criticized for shaking their hands on their first encounter. But he was determined to help them find peace with God before their executions. Thirte [...]

    6. An interesting book about a challenging time in history and challenging people. The author was formerly the religion editor for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and comes at the book from that perspective, of exploring the life and work of the Lutheran pastor, Henry Gereke from the US, who was asked to be the chaplain for the Nazis being tried at the Nuremburg trials, and particularly his work within that context. He does contemplate what evil may be and where does God fit into that discussion. Town [...]

    7. This is a book that made me stay up past my bedtime reading--Tim Townsend did a super job of writing and research. Highly recommend for people who are interested in the Nuremberg trials, WWII history, or pastoral ministry. There really isn't another story like this. Lots of personal details about Rev. Gerecke, his family, and how he was tapped to be a chaplain to the Nazis (to fulfill the requirements of the Geneva Convention). There is a lot about the inner workings of the prison where the high [...]

    8. I guess I depart from the common sentiment that this was a great book. Gerecke was certainly an inspiring man and the situation of ministering to Nazi war criminals a tough one that he carried out with aplomb. I felt that this book went off on tangents that interfered with the flow and sometimes introduced theological debates for pages that I didn't see the point of including. Several chapters I found just plain boring.

    9. Absolutely fascinating, heartwarming and inspiring true story of Rev. Henry Gerecke, an 'average' midwestern pastor, called to be a chaplain in WWII and ended up ministering to the Nazis. These were those who were captured (Hitler end up committing suicide) and were to be tried and hung for their role in the war and the Holocaust. Who would've ever thought that some of these war criminals would end up hearing, let alone, accepting God's gospel of grace in Jesus through Pastor Gerecke's love, com [...]

    10. Two of my most-read topics are pastoral ministry and WW2, so I've been looking forward to reading this for a while. It didn't disappoint. Fascinating insight into some of the men who committed unfathomable evil, including their upbringings and their backgrounds, and how one man managed to minister to them in their hour of judgement. I honestly don't know if I could have done what Henry Gerecke did; I really was inspired by his example. I also enjoyed the theological reflection interspersed throu [...]

    11. I really enjoyed this book. It was eye opening and humbling. I'd never thought that much of what happened to the high ranking Nazi leaders who survived the end of the war. And I'd definitely never thought if anyone was around to care for their souls. Henry Gerecke is one of my new heroes. He looked past the atrocities committed by these men and saw souls in need of Jesus. He did this in spite of his own weakness, a lot of criticism, and allowed God use him in powerful ways to both the men he wor [...]

    12. Mission at Nuremberg by Tim Townsend is in part a biography of Chaplain Henry Gerecke and in part a history of World War II and Nuremberg; it even includes a mini-history of the chaplaincy.Be prepared for conflicting emotions throughout the story. The story begins with the life of Henry Gerecke, a little known minister in the Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. At the height of WWII and two months shy of his 50th birthday, Henry Gerecke volunteered to go into the Army as a Chaplain. He had heard of [...]

    13. This is a biography of the American Lutheran pastor who ended up being assigned to minister to the Germans (who would let him) as they endured the Nuremberg trials. Along with an American Catholic priest they held services and provided opportunities for the German prisoners to discuss matters of faith as they were being tried. Several were clear they did not and would not believe in the Jewish Christ that Lutheran's preach. Several advised the pastor that they wanted to return to the faith they [...]

    14. I came across the story of Henry Gerecke several years ago in the excellent War and Grace by Don Stephens. There it is only a mini biography in a compendium of biographies from WW2, so I was delighted to see a full length biography of the man.Gerecke was an American Lutheran minister who served as chaplain in WW2 and and subsequently at the Nuremberg war crimes trials. The biography also covers his early life and in particular his practical ministry of mercy in the depression era, as well as his [...]

    15. This book begs questions that no man can answer. It leaves you with the questions that the philosopher, the theologian, and the common cobbler have asked and wrestled with since the serpent strove in the garden so newly made. It is a book that will anger you, make you sob, and puzzle you with the riddles of man's hearts. It is a book that is offense to your sense of high-minded morality and grace upon grace in a place you never would expect it to be. This book evokes so many emotions and if only [...]

    16. "It was Pastor Gereke's great vision and passion to reach out to everyone with the message of God's love for us in Jesus Christ."In a period when Evangelical Christians have become stereotypes of narrow minded bigotry, along comes this account of Henry Gereke, Lutheran pastor and chaplain. I was completely unaware of this story. During the Nuremberg war trial after WWII, the U.S. Army provided a Catholic and a Protestant pastor for the twenty-one Nazi criminals. Gereke was the Lutheran pastor wh [...]

    17. I would have thought there was nothing left to be told of the Nuremberg Trials, but Townsend has done a great job recounting a largely unsung story, the experiences of Lutheran pastor Henry Gerecke as chaplain to the imprisoned Nazis during the trial of the major war criminals. The book is detailed, thoughtful, and often moving. Townsend does as best he can to include some of the experiences of Gerecke's Catholic counterpart, Father Sixtus O'Connor OFM, but unlike Gerecke, who spoke and wrote of [...]

    18. This outstanding work chronicles the ministry of Army Chaplain Henry Gerecke - a Lutheran - as he ministers to the twenty-one Nazi was criminals at Nuremberg. Gerecke was a 50 year old Chaplain who had been ministering to soldiers fighting the Nazis, had seen the atrocities at Dachau, and now was tasked with ministering to the spiritual needs of men labeled as war criminals. Should he stay or go home? How do you preach the gospel to these men? How do you offer comfort? How do you talk of salvati [...]

    19. How comforting the thought that the men who permitted, encouraged, and personally executed Hitler's Holocaust were a different breed, that they were somehow separate from us in their ability to do evil. But if there's one thing this book shows, it is that we are no different. Every human, apart from God's grace, is capable of the Nazis' crimes and more. By the same token, these monsters were no further from the reach of God's saving grace than any one of us. Now that is a thought both terrifying [...]

    20. I'm conflicted. The first half was rather dry, and there were parts that were far too detailed. (Two full pages on the etymology of the word chaplain!). It's an incredible story, and worth reading, though. Just skim the theological pontificating (pages about the source of evil, examination of Genesis and it's author, an anonymous source called J) and skip to the trial and interaction with the prisoners.

    21. A piece of history I'd not explored. A fascinating story.It starts a bit slowly as it gives the Chaplain's biography. But once into his WWII service, the deep questions and human stories, veering between horrific and uplifting, are hard to stop reading.Author Townsend does a good job with touchy subjects and religious ideas, laying out these dimensions of the story for the reader to consider.

    22. Loved this book. Learned a lot about the process and it was a joy to get some history of latter-day St. Louis in the process. Particularly enjoyed the exploration of the theological basis for forgiveness among Christians and how it differs from that of Jews. It was timely because the following Sunday, the liturgical readings proscribed for the week were about forgiveness.

    23. This was a tough one to rate. The story is essentially a biography of Henry Gerecke, a Lutheran minister who volunteers for service as a chaplain and is ultimately sent to Nuremberg to minister to the Nazi war criminals on trial. Wow! As you would expect, the story is amazing and Gerecke is just an amazing person. That he is somehow able to separate the men from their horrible crimes and seek to bring them to Christ was incredible. He was tireless in his work, whether it be with the soldiers, th [...]

    24. It's hard to describe this book. It's written like a history book describing moments as they happened and details about the lives of various people throughout history it's a non fiction and often I found myself wishing it was fictional. This book takes on some of the most hated people in history and requires us to see them through the eyes of a man who loves God. Most sentences in this book had to be read and re read over and over until I could understand this type of love.

    25. Subject matter regarding Nuremberg was fascinating, and the author certainly did his homework. However the book was more of a biography of Gerecke and the author included way too many dry details about Gerecke's life. I found myself having to "plow through" many sections. Overall a worthwhile book, I recommend reading the chapters covering his interactions with the Nazis.

    26. I enjoyed the historical details but was especially fascinated by the chaplain's wrestlings with his own ideas about forgiveness, redemption, salvation, before he could even begin to minister to his flock.

    27. The gospel livedAlthough it covered many more topics than I expected, this was an excellent comination of biography and history. Well done.

    28. what an amazing account of the final days of some of Hitler's top guys and the various ways they responded to the efforts of this humble Lutheran pastor

    29. As a Christian, I can think of few other human beings that inspire and convict me in my faith like Henry Gereke has done. The build up to the trials is somewhat dry, but the descriptions of Gereke's devotion to his prisoners is well worth it."Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."-Romans 12:21

    30. A fascinating study of one courageous man's mission to bring the gospel to men who orchestrated or carried out some of the most evil crimes against humanity in history. Townsend's book sheds light on the lives of the men behind these horrific war crimes, as well as the Jewish victims of the Holocaust. At times it was simply all I could do to read through the accounts of one atrocity after another. In the end, however, one cannot help but feel the enormous weight of the spiritual struggle as Fath [...]

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