A Father’s Promise was written by Donna Lynn Hess in 1987 and is published by Bob Jones University Press. The story takes place in Poland at the beginning of World War II, in Warsaw. The story focuses on Rudi Kaplan, who is the son of Dr. Jakob Kaplan, a Jewish doctor in Warsaw. Rudi’s mother was Swedish, and died when he was three. But when she learned she was dying, she wrote letters to be given to Rudi on his birthdays, starting on his seventh birthday. Rudi was born with Jewish blood and Swedish looks, and his Swedish appearance would be helpful in the future.
Rudi and his closest friend, Selek, who was the son of Eyrk Serdusek, a lawyer and old friend of Dr. Kaplan, both dislike Hilter, but he seems only as a faded threat in Germany. But when German airplanes drop bombs into their city and German troops parade into their streets of Warsaw, they learn what it is like to be under a tyrant who did not follow God’s laws. Rudi and his father were forced from their apartment, leaving most of there things behind, so that Germans could live in their rooms. Rudi and Selek make a daring return a month later to try to get Rudi’s letters from his mother, which he had left behind. Rudi also helped his father at the hospital, taking care of the wounded who had been hurt during the bombing, until they were ordered to leave by two officers, Captian Franke and Officer Mende. They declared that they didn’t need a Jewish doctor taking care of Gentiles.
Dr. Kaplan, trying to stay as merry as possible for Rudi’s sake, decided that they start they’re own clinic for Jews. But bigger troubles come when the Jewish Council, which Selek’s father is part of, is threatened if they didn’t move the Jews into a ghetto. The council members were kept in jail for several days, and the affair softened Mr. Serdusek’s heart to hear from Dr. Kaplan about Christ. But things get even worse when Dr. Kaplan is told by the Germans to use a deadly drug on typhoid victims. Dr. Kaplan refuses. But he knew that the Germans would come back to take him to one of the work camps. Receiving a received a promise from God for Rudi’s protection, he arranges for Rudi to escape to the forest to stay with the leader of a resistance group.
Will Rudi learn to survive in the forest? Will the resistance leader be friendly? Will he ever see Selek again? Is Selek’s family in danger? Will his father survive the work camps? And if he does, will they find each other? Read A Father’s Promise to find out these details and more.
This is one of my all time favorite books.