N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Posts tagged “Germany

The White Rose

There are many examples, leading up to and during World War II, of resistance movements. Usually it was a group outside Germany within countries that had been taken over by Hitler’s armies. The French are well known, as well as others, who risk everything for FREEDOM and eventual peace.

It may not be as familiar with some of my readers that there were Germans who also resisted. In fact, there were several movement who paid a great price for their heroic deeds. One was known as the White Rose. Perhaps three of the most famous were a brother and sister, Hans and Sophie Scholl, who were students in the University of Munich. Christoph Probst, a married father of three, was also part of the White Rose movement. They believed that the German people had suffered greatly under Adolph Hitler and the crimes he was committing against humanity was totally against their conscience and Christian beliefs.

White Rose Resistance at University of Munich

Exactly what was the White Rose?

The White Rose ( Weiße Rose) was a non-violent, intellectual, resistance group in the Third Reich led by a group of students. The group conducted an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign that called for active opposition to the Nazi regime. Their activities started on 27 June 1942, and ended with the arrest of the core group by the Gestapo on 18 February 1943. The Scholls, as well as others, carried on distributing the pamphlets, faced show trials  by the Nazi People’s Court  (Volksgerichtshof), and many of them were sentenced to death or imprisonment.

Hans, Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst were executed by guillotine four days after their arrest, on February 22nd, 1943. During the trial, Sophie interrupted the judge multiple times. No defendants were given any opportunity to speak.

The Final Days Presentation of Sophie Scholl on trial.

The group wrote, printed and initially distributed their pamphlets in the greater Munich region. Later on, secret carriers brought copies to other cities, mostly in the southern parts of Germany. In total, the White Rose authored six leaflets, which were multiplied and spread, in a total of about 15,000 copies. They denounced the Nazi regime’s crimes and oppression, and called for resistance.

In their second leaflet, they openly denounced the persecution and mass murder of the Jews.  By the time of their arrest, the members of the White Rose were just about to establish contacts with other German resistance groups like the Kreisau Circle or the Schulze-Boysen/Harnack group of the Red Orchestra. Today, the White Rose is well known both within Germany and worldwide. (Wikipedia)

A surviving member of the White Rose gave this description of life in Germany at that time:

“The government—or rather, the party—controlled everything: the news media, arms, police, the armed forces, the judiciary system, communications, travel, all levels of education from kindergarten to universities, all cultural and religious institutions. Political indoctrination started at a very early age, and continued by means of the Hitler Youth with the ultimate goal of complete mind control. Children were exhorted in school to denounce even their own parents for derogatory remarks about Hitler or Nazi ideology.”— George J. Wittenstein, M.D., “Memories of the White Rose” (Wikipedia)

Should this not be a history lesson for all of us today, who have the democratic privilege to vote for our officials…or see that our own society’s voice may be slipping away with more and more government control?

What motivated Hans and Sophie Scholl to stand strong under such oppression?

Sophie’s own words tell of her CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE. This was the great motivator to do something important in the midst of evil. Here are some of her quotes:

Stand up for what you believe in, even if you are standing alone.”

“An end in terror is preferable to terror without end.”

“How can we expect fate to let a righteous cause prevail when there is hardly anyone who will give himself up undividedly to a righteous cause?”

“The real damage is done by those millions who want to ‘survive.’ The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. “

I will cling to the rope God has thrown me in Jesus Christ, even when my numb hands can no longer feel it.”

(quotes from article by Bill Muehlenberg)

On the back of Sophie’s indictment, she wrote FREEDOM (from Institute fuer Zeitgeschichte.)


HONORS in recent history for Sophie and Hans Scholl by the German people

The Geschwister-Scholl-Institut (“Scholl Siblings Institute”) for Political Science at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) is named in honour of Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans. The institute is home to the university’s political science and communication departments, and is housed in the former Radio Free Europe building close to the city’s Englischer Garten. (Wikipedia)



Will you or I be willing to speak up against it?

VIDEO Turn up your sound. Scenes from the movie The Final Days based on the true story of the White Rose Resistance. (The full movie is on You Tube)






After the Resurrection, the disciples said, ‘We have seen the Lord!’ But Thomas replied, ‘I won’t believe it unless I see the nail wounds in his hands, put my fingers into them, and place my hand into the wound in his side.’ Later, Jesus said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and look at My hands. Reach out your hand and put it into My side. Stop doubting and believe.”John 20:25, 27  Painting by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. 1600’s



This blog will be different. We are sharing several videos of real people …and in doing so…honoring the brave people around in the world who would like to be out in public, dancing in the streets or attending a great concert of Easter music. Even if this is impossible this year, we know that the day will come when we will laugh, hug, and be a part of an active, vibrant world again.

 As you watch the videos, think of Christ being in the crowd.  Think of His ministry among the EVERY-DAY PEOPLE. Christ went out to be with people where they were in their everyday lives.  Whether we ride the underground, shop in the grocery, dance in the streets or sing and play in an orchestra, He is with us in the 21st century.

Christ is with us in our homes now and with those ministering to the sick in the many hospitals around the world.

This may be a different Easter, but one of thanksgiving to God for His mercy and healing power. It is also a time of spiritual healing.  The WORLD has been given a chance to draw close to God and know His love, forgiveness and healing power.




Germany      works by Verdi, Wagner and Bizet


England        Handel’s Zadok the Priest


Copenhagen      playing Griegs Peer Gynt.


Ireland        Joining in to the Irish fun and music


South Korean Gracious Choir     Hallelujah Chorus by Handel’s Messiah

(The Messiah,  260-page oratorio, written by Handel in 1741, in just 24 days  He was in his 50’s and had suffered two strokes. Later, he went blind.)












Living Well…What does this mean?

At this Christmas time, we hurry about giving thought to all those around us. Some may say it is “much to do about nothing”…but most of us would deny this.   What we do at special times of year to show our love is much to do about everything.  It may or may not be received with gratitude, but it is a moment that we think of others more than ourselves.  It is a time to live life well and to strive to live even better in the future.

thomas_a_kempis_-_de_imitatione_christiA very old book is in our home library.  The author, Thomas A Kempis, wrote Imitation of Christ as a devotional reading for Christians to find God’s meaning to life. Thomas was born at the town of Kempen, Germany in  1380




He is known for various quotations, as “Without the Way, there is no going, Without the Truth, there is no knowing, Without the Life, there is no living.”   The one that especially made me think more deeply was in his writing on vanities (excessive pride).

“Vanity, it is to wish to live long and to be careless to live well.”

Yes, most of us hope for a long and wonderful life!  To most of us, however,  “living well” probably means having financial security,  being able to  indulgent as we desire, having a great career and many friends, a good family,  and leaving a mark on society when life is all finished.  This may sound simplistic and somewhat sad that we could sum up our lives in one sentence.

 What does living well really mean?   Everyone is a philosopher to some degree and have made comments  about living and doing it well.

  • George Patton:   “It is better to fight for something than to live for nothing.”
  • Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier. – Albert Schweitzer
  • To laugh often and much;
    to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
    to earn the appreciation of honest critics and to endure the betrayal of false friends.
    To appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
    to know that even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.
    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

A great deal of emphasis is placed on the New Year and the resolutions that are made as we try to begin each year anew.  We all want to live better in the next year and honestly hope for a better world: for better decisions made by our leaders…for those displaced and in the clutches of war and disaster to find a place of peace…for the minds of the world’s  youth, who are easily pulled into evil and fanaticism.   All this would appear to be living well if it could come to fruition.


Ann Frank said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”  Even she could see a life’s goal in the midst of terror and hatred. Neither did she know that her life would be cut short, but it would serve as a testimony of believing in the beauty of people for millions around the world.

The remaining question is for each of us to find for ourselves…how we will choose to live well after this Christmas season has ended and the New Year begins.

According to Thomas Kempis, when he was writing  Imitation of Christ, were some of the following thoughts (in old English):

  • “Presume not upon thyself, but place thy hope (and life) in God.
  • Trust not in thine own knowledge, nor in the subtilty of any living creature, but rather in the grace of God, who helpeth the humble and humbleth those that are self-presuming. 
  • Glory not in wealth if thou have it…but in God who giveth all things and above all desireth to give thee Himself.”

We end with these final thoughts for your thinking this year:

You know you are living well when you:

  • Wake up in the morning and can’t wait for the adventure that lies ahead of you.
  • You are optimistic, cheerful and confident
  • Are interested in and want to contribute to others and the world around you.
  • Focus on the good things in your life and improve on what’s not working.
  • Are aware, appreciative and engaged in life.
  • Turn obstacles into opportunities.
  • Seize each moment   (Taken from essentiallifeskills.com)

We would add to this a renewed trust and search for the love of Christ in ourselves and what we are to others.

Video  (Turn up sound)    Recorded in the Italian home town of St. Francis of Assisi. Vocal by Angelina

Yum Yum…Marzipan’s history


Arriving from Germany, my son handed me a slightly squashed gift of marzipan that he had pressed into his suitcase to bring home as  a treat for the Christmas season.  (Delicious!   Thanks, Steve!)

Arranging  the marzipan along with the chocolate chip cookies and the tasty treat from my neighbor, I decided to look into the history of marzipan.  ( My husband did not think this would be one of my more inspirational or exciting blogs…but I happen to be inquisitive…so here goes.  Maybe I can “spice” it up a bit with some mouth-watering German goodies in between the information.)

My research on marzipan brought me to this article on the subject of marzipan written by Johann George Niederegger who was born in 1777 in Ulm and owned Maret Confectioners in Lubeck, Germany      niederegger-lubeck-bakers

Niederegger wrote:     “…Marzipan was invented far away, where almonds and sugar are grown. Rhazes, a Persian doctor who lived from 850 to 923, wrote a book in which he praised the curative qualities of almond and sugar paste.  When the crusaders returned from the Orient, they brought with them a host of spices and Oriental secrets.christmas-cooking

 In 13th century Venice, Naples and Sicily, spices and confectionery were generally traded  in tiny boxes. The enchanting word “Mataban” (box) gradually came to be used for the contents of the box:  Mazapane (Italian), Massepain (French.), Marzipan (German).

Did you know that even back in the 13th century, the renowned philosopher and theologian Thomas Aquinas reflected upon the indulgence of eating Marzipan? In his doctrinal teaching, he reassures inquiring and anxious clerics: “Marzipan does not break the fast.”

sugar-baked-goodsIn his stories, the great novelist Boccaccio clearly describes the correlation between passion and marzipan. In those days, marzipan was topped with gold leaf to crown the sweet temptation.

Great Hanseatic merchant boats brought spices and other prized ingredients to the North. Initially, however, only apothecaries were allowed to trade with sugar and spices. Not until confectionery became a trade in its own right were so-called ‘canditors’ allowed to produce marzipan.

german-goodies The first Europeans to indulge in marzipan were kings and rich people. It has been reported that Queen Elizabeth I of England, who lived from 1533 to 1603, was addicted to all things sweet.  The saying ‘regal enjoyment’ was coined.

 german-bakery3Later, at the French ‘Sun King’ Louis XIV’s sumptuous feasts, huge tables laden with marzipan were the order of the day. Marzipan reproductions of all sorts of fruits, poultry and game were created – anything you desired could be made.

german-bakery2In the first half of the 19th century, the general population were now able to sample the almond delicacy to their heart’s content in coffee houses. Now that sugar could be extracted from sugar beet, the costly luxury became slightly more affordable. Marzipan was also particularly popular and prized in Lübeck.

I would now like to tell you something about my life: as a young man, I left my home town of Ulm to become apprenticed to a confectioner, Maret, in Lübeck. In 1806 I was able to open up my own shop. I supplied my wares to kings and tsars. From then on, my reputation grew, thanks to excellent quality. My recipe for marzipan:  as many almonds as possible, as little sugar as necessary – is secret, and has been passed on from generation to generation…”german-bakery

Whether a sugary treat or the many Christmas  traditions handed down from Germany to countries around the world, we can all enjoy Christmas music in any language.

The song on this video, Vom Himmel Hoch da komm’ ich her (Eine Version aus dem Jahre 1979) was written by Martin Luther during the Protestant Reformation.  Luther wrote this hymn for his five year old son, Hans. It was not pub­lished un­til four years lat­er. It was sung at the an­nu­al Christ­mas Eve fes­ti­val at the Lu­ther home. A man dressed as an an­gel would sing the open­ing verses.  The child­ren would greet him with the verse, “Wel­come to earth, thou no­ble guest…”    (Perhaps they even had the treats of marzipan at the festival.)



English Translation:

From Heaven above to earth I come,
To bear good news to every home;
Glad tidings of great joy I bring,
Whereof I now will say and sing.

To you, this night, is born a Child
Of Mary, chosen mother mild;
This tender Child of lowly birth,
Shall be the joy of all your earth.

‘Tis Christ our God, who far on high
Had heard your sad and bitter cry;
Himself will your Salvation be,
Himself from sin will make you free.

He brings those blessings long ago
Prepared by God for all below;
That in His heavenly kingdom blest
You may with us forever rest.

These are the tokens ye shall mark,
The swaddling clothes and manger dark;
There shall ye find the young Child laid,
By Whom the heavens and earth were made.

Now let us all, with gladsome cheer,
Follow the shepherds, and draw near
To see this wondrous Gift of God,
Who hath His own dear Son bestowed.

Give heed, my heart, lift up thine eyes!
What is it in yon manger lies?
Who is this Child, so young and fair?
The blessèd Christ Child lieth there!

Welcome to earth, Thou noble Guest,
Through Whom e’en wicked men are blest!
Thou com’st to share our misery,
What can we render, Lord, to Thee!

Ah, Lord, who hast created all,
How hast Thou made Thee weak and small,
To lie upon the coarse dry grass,
The food of humble ox and ass.

Were earth a thousand times as fair,
Beset with gold and jewels rare,
She yet were far too poor to be
A narrow cradle, Lord, for Thee.

For velvets soft and silken stuff
Thou hast but hay and straw so rough,
Whereon Thou King, so rich and great,
As ’twere Thy heaven, art throned in state.

Thus hath it pleased Thee to make plain
The truth to us, poor fools and vain,
That this world’s honor, wealth and might
Are naught and worthless in Thy sight.

Ah, dearest Jesus, holy Child,
Make Thee a bed, soft, undefiled,
Here in my poor heart’s inmost shrine,
That I may evermore be Thine.

My heart for very joy doth leap,
My lips no more can silence keep,
I too must sing, with joyful tongue,
That sweetest ancient cradle song.

Glory to God in highest Heaven,
Who unto man His Son hath given,
While angels sing, with pious mirth,
A glad New Year to all the earth.

Dr. Emil Adolf Behring: German Scientist -Developer of Modern Medications

Boyer Writes is paying tribute to a scientist that worked tirelessly to find cures that effect all of our lives today.  Dr. Emil Adolf Behring was up against difficulties of the times, as well as the patience of his medical superiors. Funds were limited to do his research.   Yet, year after year he stayed with it until he had the results and the honor of scientific development that changed the world.    Our hats off also to those who continue tirelessly today to find the cure for AIDS,  Alzheimer’s disease  and cancers of all types.

Because we are vaccinated as children and the diseases such as diphtheria are little known to most in the modern world,  it may be good to describe here something about this particular disease that these men of science helped eradicate.

A diphtheria skin lesion on the leg

Diphtheria is a highly contagious and life-threatening infection caused by bacteria. The infection most commonly attacks the mucus membranes associated with the breathing system (the tonsils, throat, and nose) and can also infect the skin. In addition, some types of the bacteria can cause damage to the heart, nerves, kidneys, and brain.

The vaccine for diphtheria is safe and is very effective at preventing the disease. A series of shots are given during childhood, then booster shots are required every ten years to keep the immunity strong.

Before vaccines and medications were available to prevent and treat the disease, nearly one out of ten people died. Diphtheria was the leading cause of death among children.

Biography:  Emil Adolf Behring

Emil Von Behring

  • Born in Germany on March 15, 1854
  •   He was the eldest son  of a schoolmaster  and had 12 brothers and sisters.
  •  In 1874, he entered the well-known Army Medical College at Berlin. This made his studies financially practicable but also carried the obligation to stay in military service for several years after he had taken his medical degree (1878) and passed his State Examination (1880).
  • He was then sent to Wohlau and Posen in Poland at the Department of the Experimental Station where there were studies connected with septic diseases.
  •  In the years 1881-1883, he carried out important investigations on the action of iodoform, stating that it does not kill microbes but may neutralize the poisons; thus being antitoxic.
  •  His first publications on these questions appeared in 1882. The governing body concerned with military health  was  interested in the prevention and combating of epidemics.
  • Behring, studied further with pharmacologist C. Binz at Bonn in experimental methods.
  •  In 1888, he was ordered back to Berlin  where he worked as an assistant at the Institute of Hygiene under Robert Koch. He  followed Koch when the latter moved to the Institute for Infectious Diseases. This appointment brought him into close association, not only with Koch, but also with P. Ehrlich, who joined, in 1890, the brilliant team of workers Koch had gathered round him.
  •  In 1894 Behring became Professor of Hygiene at Halle. The following year he moved to the corresponding chair at Marburg.
  • Behring’s most important researches were  bound up with the epoch-making work of Pasteur, Kock, Ehrlich,  Löffler, Roux, Yersin and others, which led the foundation of our modern knowledge of the immunology of bacterial diseases.
  • During the years 1888-1890 E. Roux and A. Yersin, working at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, had shown that filtrates of diphtheria cultures which contained no bacilli, contained a substance which they called a toxin, that produced, when injected into animals, all the symptoms of diphtheria.  (See below picture of Pasteur Institute in Paris.)

    Pasteur Institute in Paris

  •  In 1890, L. Brieger and C. Fraenkel prepared, from cultures of diphtheria bacilli, a toxic substance, which they called toxalbumin, which when injected in suitable doses into guinea-pigs, immunized these animals to diphtheria.
  • Starting from his observations on the action of iodoform, Behring tried to find whether a disinfection of the living organism might be obtained if animals were injected with material that had been treated with various disinfectants.
  •  All the experiments were performed with diphtheria and with tetanus bacilli. They led to the well-known development of a new kind of therapy for these two diseases.
  •  In 1890 Behring and S. Kitasato published their discovery that graduated doses of sterilised brothcultures of diphtheria or of tetanus bacilli caused the animals to produce, in their blood, substances which could neutralize the toxins which these bacilli produced (antitoxins).
  • They also showed that the antitoxins thus produced by one animal could immunize another animal and that it could cure an animal actually showing symptoms of diphtheria. This great discovery was soon confirmed and successfully used by other workers.
  • Earlier in 1898, Behring and F. Wernicke had found that immunity to diphtheria could be produced by the injection into animals of diphtheria toxin neutralized by diphtheria antitoxin.
  • In 1907 Theobald Smith had suggested that such toxin-antitoxin mixtures might be used to immunize man against this disease. It was Behring, however, who announced, in 1913, his production of a mixture of this kind, and subsequent work which modified and refined the mixture originally produced by Behring resulted in the modern methods of immunization which have largely banished diphtheria from the scourges of mankind.
  •  Behring himself saw in his production of this toxin-antitoxin mixture the possibility of the final eradication of diphtheria; and he regarded this part of his efforts as the crowning success of his life’s work.
  • Numerous distinctions were conferred upon Behring. Already in 1893 the title of Professor was conferred upon him, and two years later he became «Geheimer Medizinalrat» and officer of the French Legion of Honour.
  • Behring died at Marburg on March 31, 1917.

Movie made in 1940 about the life of Dr. Behring

Trailer from The Magic Bullet   (Turn up sound)

Institute Pasteur

Footnote:The Pasteur Institute in Paris was founded in 1887.  It has been in the forefront of the battle against infectious disease.  It was the first to isolate HIV, the virus that causes AIDS (1983).  Besides the diseases mentioned in the writing above, it worked on control of poliomyelitis, influenza, yellow fever, and plague.  Since 1908, eight Pasteur Institute scientists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine and physiology.

Virtuoso Violinist and Pianist

May I introduce you to the German virtuoso violinist, Julia Fischer.
For your Sunday enjoyment from Boyer Writes



SS General Hans Kammler

SPECIAL NOTE by the author:   This blog has received the most hits worldwide than any of my other blogs, which may say something about the fascination that people have for history and the unknown facts of history.  People have commented that their relatives were somehow connected with General Hans Kammler, but can not prove such claims. Readers have argued back and forth concerning their claims…as I receive an email each time they comment.  What it matters all in all these many years later is probably of little consequence in that most of the criminals of the Nazi era are dying off even if they did escape the punishments that was due them. Regardless, the speculation goes on….and readers enjoy the mystery.  Thanks for reading and wondering. 



As the Russians were approaching and the Germans knew the war was lost, the project that was to be a great defeat to the Allies was in danger of falling in the hands of the free world.  No one was to know the secrets of the anti-gravity machine that was being tested.  To be certain of this Gen. Kammler had a number of his top-ranking scientists put to death.  They were not going to tell anyone anything that had been discovered.

Who was Gen. Kammler?

General Dr Hans Friedrich Karl Franz Kammler was an engineer and high-ranking officer of the SS in Nazi Germany.   He oversaw SS construction projects and was put in charge of the V-2 missile program.    Kammler was born in Stettin, Germany.  Rising to at least  3rd in seniority within the 3rd Reich, Hitler put him, as a civil engineer, in charge of a very important project.   Years later, it has been suggested that Hans Kammler had possibly been part of the American strategy known as  Paper Clip.

Operation Paperclip was the OSS program (Office of Strategic Service) to recruit German scientists to work in American science programs.   It seemed a strange thing that at the Nuremberg Trials, almost no mention was made of Kammler.   He was also charged with constructing facilities for various secret weapons projects such as the Messerschmitt Me 262 and V- 2 rocket. It is also certain he constructed concentration camps and crematorium. It is known that he visited Auschwitz with Himmler.  Perhaps this was to see if his construction of a death facility was working properly.

He was married with children.  He called himself a Gottgläubiger or one who broke away from Christianity.   Did he die in 1945 as some believe?    If he died, there are about four possibilities of how that could have occurred.

  • That he committed suicide with a cyanide capsule on 7 May, 1945.
  • That he shot himself in the head on 9 May, 1945.
  • That he asked his aide Zeuner to shoot him.
  • That the Soviets executed Kammler along with 200 other SS soldiers

Others do not believe that he died and perhaps went with other Nazi soldiers into seclusion in South America.  One thing is definite.   The Bell and Kammler disappeared…

Special Note: If you would like to order my historical fiction book that brings a story of suspense and drama to the possibility of where Hans Kammler may have hidden, click this link to my book entitled The Seeds.  Click this linkThe Seeds Book Cover Revised