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Hitler Youth Camp Survivor Speaks

March 29, 2011
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Hilda Gutwein -“Never Forget GOD”

Greetings dear reader.  We spent a couple hours last night down at the Dan Quayle Center in downtown Huntington, listening to Hilda Gutwein speak.  And speak she did.  What an exciting life Mrs. Gutwein has had, growing up on a farm in what was back then Yugoslavia, (today she says it is Bosnia) during the 1930’s.  Recall, dear reader, that the 1930’s, up until the Allied victory in 1945, was the last “Saeculum Winter” period from the bookThe Forth Turning, link to my short book review here And what an interesting perspective Hilda has on that dark period, from European history.  (Recall, in The Fourth Turning, the projection from 1995 by the authors that the U.S.of A. would swing into another saecular winter around the year 2005)

Hilda Gutwein spoke of her strong family reliance on faith in Jesus Christ, and on holding the Bible in her heart.  You see, as Hitler Youth camp *students*, they were not allowed to bring a Bible with them to camp. She and her twin sister were sent off to camp at age 12.  Separated from their family, their days were very busy- – – up at six, very military schedules, clean up living quarters, breakfast at seven, kitchen clean up, classes began at eight.  Just like in the military, there was little free time, classes continuing until seven in the evening.  Busy, busy, busy, just like the rest of German society.  We learned that the busy schedule, both in the camps, and supporting the war effort in their work schedules, the busy nature, was how the German People managed to forget God.  There was so much to do, so little free time, always running here to there, and back again, she told us that many Germans forgot God. But not her.

They became reliant upon themselves, for everything.  “I…can do this”.  I…am strong”.  I…am able to take care of this. I. I. I.

Or , as my Grandmother used to say:  “Aye, yai, yai, Yai!”  Many people forgot God, but NOT Hilda, and certainly not her family.  They faced several impossible-odds scenarios, being separated and sent to various parts of Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Germany and ultimately – coming to the United States of America. At one point, the family was reunited, and wanted to move westward, but were denied entry to the last train leaving.  Three days later they were able to make the train, and arrived in Dresden; exactly 3 days after the phosphor bombing that decimated the city. Repeatedly, throughout her story, they prayed, and their prayers were answered.  Miraculously. Answered.  Hilda reminded us that “God is good, God is faithful, and He is always there for us”.

And she encouraged everyone in the audience, she CHALLENGED us all, to never allow ourselves to become so busy in living our lives, that we forget God.  Hilda Gutwein sees many parallels between her youth in Europe and the present day in America.  She has seen much of what is happening here, NOW, before; and she does not like it. That is the reason for her speaking to the Huntington TEA Party, and other groups in Indiana. No matter how difficult things may get, Hilda tells us, we always have Him. And we must listen to Him.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 30, 2011 4:13 pm

    What an interesting speaker. Hilda sounds like an incredible lady.

    • Uncle Milton permalink*
      April 1, 2011 12:37 pm

      Hilda IS an incredible lady. What I provided was only a short version of the “Cliff’s Notes”. Such a powerful story, regrettably I didn’t take notes to provide a more thorough discussion.

  2. Kennedy Sampson permalink
    May 25, 2011 3:33 pm

    this really helped me with my project. thanx!

    • Uncle Milton permalink*
      May 26, 2011 9:26 pm

      You are welcome. Perhaps the opportunity to see Hilda in person will happen, she is very nice!

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