Mission at Nuremberg
An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis
Mission at Nuremberg is Tim Townsend’s gripping story of the American Army chaplain sent to save the souls of the Nazis incarcerated at Nuremberg, a compelling and thought-provoking tale that raises questions of faith, guilt, morality, vengeance, forgiveness, salvation, and the essence of humanity.
Lutheran minister Henry Gerecke was fifty years old when he enlisted as am Army chaplain during World War II. As two of his three sons faced danger and death on the battlefield, Gerecke tended to the battered bodies and souls of wounded and dying GIs outside London. At the war’s end, when other soldiers were coming home, Gerecke was recruited for the most difficult engagement of his life: ministering to the twenty-one Nazis leaders awaiting trial at Nuremburg.
Based on scrupulous research and first-hand accounts, including interviews with still-living participants and featuring sixteen pages of black-and-white photos, Mission at Nuremberg takes us inside the Nuremburg Palace of Justice, into the cells of the accused and the courtroom where they faced their crimes. As the drama leading to the court’s final judgments unfolds, Tim Townsend brings to life the developing relationship between Gerecke and Hermann Georing, Albert Speer, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop, and other imprisoned Nazis as they awaited trial.
Powerful and harrowing, Mission at Nuremberg offers a fresh look at one most horrifying times in human history, probing difficult spiritual and ethical issues that continue to hold meaning, forcing us to confront the ultimate moral question: Are some men so evil they are beyond redemption?
Praise For Mission at Nuremberg: An American Army Chaplain and the Trial of the Nazis…
“Townsend’s account is full of surreal moments Gerecke witnessed during his time in Nuremberg” — Publishers Weekly
“Rich, potentially explosive. ... Townsend authoritatively addresses the excruciating moral and religious issues confronting wartime chaplains.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Gripping.” — Daily Mail (London)
“Engagingly told…Townsend illuminates a hidden gem of World War II history and brings to light the life and career of a truly heroic Christian man…an important book. It deserves a wide audience.” — Christianity Today
“A gripping story... puts the reader inside the cells of various Hitler henchmen.” — Wichita Eagle
“Sheds light on a little-known player in an iconic episode of world history. ... A well-written study about a subject matter that can’t help but hold a reader’s attention.” — America in WWII Magazine
“A dramatic story.” — Lutheran Quarterly
William Morrow, 9780061997198, 400pp.
Publication Date: March 11, 2014
About the Author
Tim Townsend has written for the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and Rolling Stone, among other publications. In 2005, 2011, and 2013, he was named Religion Reporter of the Year by the Religion Newswriters Association for his work at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He is a Washington, D.C.-based editor at Timeline.com.