No Heil Hitler!
No Heil Hitler!
By Paul Cieslar
 

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Winner of the National Seniors Literary Prize (Australia)

September 1, 1939: “The stillness of the morning was suddenly shattered when three German fighter planes appeared from behind the mountain of Kubalonka. They were in strict formation, one slightly in front of the others, as if taking part in a demonstration, barely above ground level. I could see the grey fuselage, the pilots in the cockpits and the ominous black crosses on the wings. The noise was deafening. The three planes were flying toward me at terrific speed. The noise alone felt like it would shake all my teeth out. I saw the flicker of flames as the first plane fired its guns, and heard the trees above my head splintering as the stream of bullets hit them. Branches toppled down. Cattle panicked. Leaves and twigs sprayed across the field. The ricocheting bullets whined around the valley.”

War had come to Poland and 10-year-old Paul’s life had suddenly changed. Forced to abandon any outward allegiance to their Polish heritage and Seventh-day Adventist faith, Paul’s family were determined to keep their obedience to God foremost.

“Paul Cieslar’s story is also that of his family and his church, one of faithfulness and endurance in the face of grave threats and many hardships in occupied Poland. Their story should inspire our faithfulness and renew our trust in a God who is with us always.”—Geoff Youlden, presenter, Beyond the Search

Paul Cieslar is now retired and lives near Melbourne, Australia, having served as a pastor and church leader in a number of countries around the world.