Untold Stories

4 UNTOLD WORLD WAR II STORIES

Hundreds, if not thousands, of books have been published about WWII.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of books have been published about WWII. With a conflict that lasted over a decade, involving the majority of the world’s countries and claiming an estimated 50 to 85 lives, it’s no surprise that there are innumerable stories to tell.

Here are four different perspectives on the conflict that you may not have heard before. From a soldier learning what it means to follow Christ in the midst of the Pearl Harbor bombings to a young Russian girl’s diary surviving the German labor camps, the experience that inspired C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity to the letters of a newlywed couple separated at the outbreak of war, there’s something for everyone.

Jim Downing’s The Other Side of Infamy, co-written with James Lund
Christians despise war, and today’s generations are unaccustomed to global conflict. Jim Downing reflects on his illustrious military career, including his experience during the bombing of Pearl Harbor, to show how we can be people of faith during troubled times.

The natural human impulse is to run from attack. On December 7, 1941, Jim Downing, along with many other soldiers and sailors at Pearl Harbor, sprinted toward it, battling to save his fellow sailors, protect loved ones and people on the island, and find a way out of a catastrophic war.

We are now sheltered from war, but there was a time when war was very much a part of our lives, and in The Other Side of Infamy, we discover what it means to follow Jesus into and through every risk, toil, and snare from a veteran of Pearl Harbor and World War II.

Christians despise war, and today’s generations are unaccustomed to global conflict. Jim Downing reflects on his distinguished military career, including his experiences during the attack of Pearl Harbor, to demonstrate how we may remain people of faith in difficult circumstances.

The inherent human instinct is to flee from danger. On December 7, 1941, Jim Downing, along with many other soldiers and sailors at Pearl Harbor, sprinted toward it, battling to save his fellow sailors, protect loved ones and people on the island, and find a way out of a catastrophic war.

We are now sheltered from war, but there was a time when war was very much a part of our lives, and in The Other Side of Infamy, we discover what it means to follow Jesus into and through every risk, toil, and snare from a veteran of Pearl Harbor and World War II.

Nonna Bannister’s The Secret Holocaust Diaries, starring Denise George and Carolyn Tomlin
Nonna Bannister preserved a secret almost all the way to her death in Tennessee: the diaries she kept as a little girl witnessing the horrors of the Holocaust.

That story is told in this book. Nonna’s childhood writings, rediscovered in her late adulthood, tell the astonishing story of how a Russian girl from a wealthy family learnt the worth of human life and the significance of forgiveness after being exposed to German work camps. This is a story about loss, love, and forgiveness that you will never forget.

For half a century, a terrible secret was kept hidden in an attic trunk… photos, official documents, and scraps of a young girl’s diary.
“The time has come for me to share my life story… some historical facts that may contribute, however insignificantly, to mankind’s history.”

The Secret Holocaust Diaries is a haunting eyewitness account of Nonna Lisowskaja Bannister, a remarkable Russian-American woman who saw and survived unspeakable evils as a young girl. For half a century she kept her story secret while living a normal American life. She kept all of her World War II photos, documents, diaries, and dark memories in a trunk. She unlocked the door late in life.

Nonna’s story is one of suffering, torture, and death—but also of incredible acts of kindness that show the ultimate triumph of faith and love over despair and evil. The Secret Holocaust Diaries is in part a tragedy, yet it’s also an unforgettable true story about forgiveness, courage, and hope.

C.S. Lewis at War by C.S. Lewis and Paul McCusker
Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis is widely considered one of the greatest Christian books of the twentieth century. What most people don’t realize is that it was first created as a series of radio broadcasts that came about due to the conflict and adversity faced by Britain during World War II.

C. S. Lewis at War is a powerful and entertaining radio theatre–style audio drama on CD that brings to life this amazing period in Lewis’s life. It provides a rare insight into Lewis’s life, friends, and family, illuminating a time of personal difficulty that also brought forth some of his most influential works: The Screwtape Letters, score.

Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis is widely considered one of the greatest Christian books of the twentieth century. What most people don’t realize is that it was first created as a series of radio broadcasts that came about due to the conflict and adversity faced by Britain during World War II.

C. S. Lewis at War is a powerful and entertaining radio theatre–style audio drama on CD that brings to life this amazing period in Lewis’s life. It provides a rare insight into Lewis’s life, friends, and family, illuminating a time of personal difficulty that also brought forth some of his most influential works: The Screwtape LettersThe Problem of Pain, and Mere Christianity. Recorded in London and written by Paul McCusker, the script comes alive with a full cast of award-winning British voice actors, cinematic sound effects, and an original score.

The story begins when England was at war with Germany. Injury and death impacted everyone. Day-to-day living was immensely difficult. Children were evacuated from London and sent to other parts of the country (Lewis himself took in a few). It was a time of strain, heartbreak, and weariness. A visionary in the BBC’s religious department—James Welch—passionately believed Christianity should be meaningful and relevant to the British people in this hour of need. Looking for new and diverse ways to present programs that explored Christian ideas, he contacted Oxford tutor, lecturer, and writer C. S. Lewis. Reluctant at first, Lewis finally agreed to make a case for a “moral law,” drawn from common human experience that he believed was essential as a foundation for faith in Christ. He presented his thoughts in a series of Broadcast Talks that were later gathered together and published as Mere Christianity.

This behind-the-scenes drama powerfully integrates the ideas Lewis explored in Mere Christianity with the very real influence that comes from living out a Christian life in a period of trauma, proclaiming the reasons to trust God even when the world screams otherwise.

In addition to the three-hour Radio Theatre production, C. S. Lewis at War includes a complete and unabridged dramatic reading of Mere Christianity—capturing the clarity, intelligence, and wit of the original classic. This provides listeners with a full ten hours of audio entertainment on 8 CDs.

Radio Theatre productions from Focus on the Family are more than just audio storytelling. They are full dramatic productions with award-winning scripts, renowned actors, original music, and cinematic sound—like an audio movie that plays on the biggest screen of all: your imagination. Other best-selling Radio Theatre productions that feature the works of C. S. Lewis include The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters.

Dandi Daley Mackall’s With Love, Wherever You Are
Helen Eberhart Daley, an army nurse, and Lieutenant Frank Daley, M.D. are dispatched to the front lines of Europe with only letters to keep them connected for months at a time after a whirlwind relationship and wedding.

Surrounded by danger and critically injured patients, they quickly realize that only the war is real—and their marriage is becoming a distant memory. Will their marriage endure if they make it through the war?

With Love, Wherever You Are is an adult novel by bestselling children’s author Dandi Daley Mackall, based on an unbelievable true love story.

 

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