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Siegfried Horn: The Survivor

Joyce Rochat, Andrews University Press, Berrien Springs, Michigan, 1986, 332 pages, $9.95, hardcover.

Reviewed by Leona Glidden Running, professor emerita of biblical languages, SDA Theological Seminary, Andrews University.

Dr. Siegfried Horn is well known to scholars and others through his writing, teaching, and lecturing on archeology and ancient history. But few have heard more than a mention of his wartime internment and other life experiences. In a fascinating biography, Dr. Joyce Rochat makes his early life and war experiences live for the reader. Dr. Horn's comment on the finished manuscript was that "she has acquitted herself in a marvelous way and produced a superb work of art," and that "the incidents as recorded are true."

Dr. Rochat had access to Horn's 24 volumes of diaries (kept since age 18), boxes of letters and photographs, and his many publications. Her main problem was having to select what to include, omitting "so much that was fascinating and inspiring." In the foreword, Dr. Horn has most beautifully summarized the contents of the book:

"It leads the reader first through my childhood and formative years to Germany, England, and Holland, where I lived in tumultuous times, then brings him to the exotic islands of Java and Sumatra, where I spent eight satisfying years as a happy missionary, and finally lets him share the hardships, sorrows, and hectic experiences of six years spent in five prison camps during World War II, when the reader is taken with me from Java to the tiny island of Onrust in the Java Sea, then from there to a jungle in north Sumatra, and eventually to three successive prison camps in British India until freedom bells once more rang for me in the foothills of the towering Himalayan mountains. From that moment on, a new and entirely different life began for me that will be the subject of a subsequent work."

Besides God's guiding, protecting hand, he credits his strong-minded, early-widowed, godly mother with the greatest influence on his life. When the next volume appears, readers will enjoy following his interesting and productive career after his liberation and coming to the United States.


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Reviewed by Leona Glidden Running, professor emerita of biblical languages, SDA Theological Seminary, Andrews University.

May 1988

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