Some life stories need to be told because of their power to edify and encourage others. What follows is an excerpt from an article about the life of Professor Emeritus Dr. Paul Kreiss, as written by Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Leininger:
“Paul’s mother had previously been diagnosed with serious breast cancer, but now her condition worsened. The commanding German officer denied Paul’s request to return home to be with his dying mother, and so he took a bold step of faith: he conceived an elaborate plan to defect from the German army and smuggle himself back into Alsace, skillfully avoiding recapture, which would have meant execution for desertion. By God’s providence and grace, he managed to make his way to the safety of his grandparents’ village—although the battle lines prevented a safe return all the way home. Paul’s godmother—a family friend—had connections with the French resistance, which aided in keeping him safe, hidden and well-informed of troop movements amid the anticipated Allied liberation of his homeland. While in hiding, Paul learned the tragic news that his father was murdered protecting their village’s Lutheran church from Moroccan looting soldiers. His father helped build that church, and many of his family had received the gift of salvation through baptism at its font. Paul describes this time as his greatest test of faith. Mercifully, as the Allied forces liberated France, he was able to see his mother before she died, shortly after the war came to a close.”
To learn more about the remarkable, faithful life of Dr. Paul Kreiss, read the full story in the Fall 2020 issue of the Forester.