Behind the Wall

ROBERT E. A. LEE, published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., Grand Rapids, $3.50 (169 pages). Reviewed by Mrs. Robert Decker

The author, drawing upon his personal observations and experiences in Berlin, has created a novel depicting the life and problems of two young Germans. Werner Hirn, a publicist for a film company in Hamburg, Germany spends a month’s vacation in West Berlin. Out of curiosity, he ventures behind the Berlin Wall to see the life of East Berliners. Here he meets Lise Lehman, an active Communist Party member and becomes strongly attached to her. He realizes that her political and religious beliefs are diametrically opposed to his own. She has been trained in Communist doctrines her entire life. She lives in a fearful world of Party pledges and disciplines. This is a world in which one serves the Party in all things, a world in which one loses his own identity for the sake of the Communist Party. Werner Hirn cannot forget Lise or the evils of her Party. He risks his own life to attempt to deliver her out of this fearful world behind the wall. But is Lise ready to transfer to another world after she has known only the Communist world? Is she willing to give up serving the Communist Party and serve Werner’s God?

Behind the deep soul struggles of these two young people is seen the subtle persecution, the psychological harassment suffered by an East German pastor and his congregation: the total allegiance of true Party members to the Communist Party and its leaders; and the hardships suffered by those who do not want to surrender themselves to the standards of the Party.

Indeed, this book gives a vivid picture of the dismal life behind the Berlin Wall; a picture that makes the reader more thankful to our God for the freedom we enjoy here in America.