Pastor with Jewish Roots in Flight from Nazism
Foreword by Victoria J. Barnett
Imprint: Cascade Books
Craig L. Nessan is William D. Streng Professor for the Education and Renewal of the Church and professor of contextual theology and ethics at Wartburg Theological Seminary. He is the author of several books, including Wilhelm Loehe and North America (2020).
Carsten Linden studied history and theology in Osnabrück, Germany, and Bradford, United Kingdom. He is a historian living in Lemförde, Germany, and the author of a dissertation on the Confessing Church under National Socialism in Germany.
“This book shows in detail how the German Nazi regime persecuted Paul Leo, a German Lutheran pastor, because his ancestors were “Jews, how this regime put pressure on the church to comply with their insane persecution of everybody remotely Jewish, and how Leo found a second home in Dubuque, Iowa, as a professor at Wartburg Theological Seminary. This most welcome book is meticulously researched and lavishly illustrated. The authors did an excellent job to render this book into English, and it deserves many readers.”
—Hans Schwarz, professor emeritus of systematic theology, University of Regensburg
“Craig Nessan and Carsten Linden’s book about my father brings him to life, weaving his theology into the flow of his remarkable life. Born in the twilight years of the Victorian era into a thoroughly assimilated, educated, solidly middle-class home, he survived Buchenwald to create a whole new life in the United States as a country pastor and a professor of theology. His faith and optimism shine through the text.”
—Monica Leo, daughter of Paul Leo
“This work brings to life the dramatic story of Paul Leo, a Lutheran pastor who because of his Jewish heritage was forced to flee Nazi Germany. As a pastor and seminary teacher in the United States, he had lasting influence. In this carefully researched and fascinating book, the reader will see above all the thoughtful, faithful Christian. As a pastor and teacher, Leo focused not on his own suffering but on fulfilling his call to ministry.”
—Mary Jane Haemig, professor emerita of church history, Luther Seminary
“Today, perhaps even more than ever, the Holocaust’s unquenchable mandate, ‘Never again,’ cries out to be heeded. Even those with ears to hear still often ask, ‘How could such evil have taken over such an enlightened, scientific, and historically Christian nation?’ Condensing Paul Leo’s precarious sojourn, Craig Nessan and Carsten Linden narrate at the granular level the ‘how’s’ of these mid-twentieth-century atrocities as well as the struggles of refugees from trauma and terror back then, with truths as pertinent as ever.”
—Gary M. Simpson, professor emeritus of systematic theology, Luther Seminary