Triumphant in a Special Way
DO YOU encounter opposition to your faith—perhaps at work, at school, in the family, or because of restrictions imposed by the State? Then do not lose heart. Many of Jehovah’s Witnesses have faced similar trials, yet they came off triumphant. Consider the example of Erna Ludolph.
Erna was born in Lübeck, Germany, in 1908. She was the only member of her family who served Jehovah. When the Hitler regime came to power in 1933, life became difficult for Jehovah’s Witnesses. Erna’s colleagues at work denounced her for refusing to give the Hitler salute, and this led to her arrest by the Nazis. She spent eight years in various prisons and in the concentration camps at Hamburg-Fuhlsbüttel, Moringen, Lichtenburg, and Ravensbrück. While Erna was in Ravensbrück, something happened that led to her coming off triumphant.
Housekeeper With a Difference
Professor Friedrich Holtz and his wife, Alice, lived in Berlin. They were not members of the Nazi party and did not support its ideology. However, they were related to a senior SS official who was responsible for certain concentration camp inmates. So when the professor and his wife were looking for a housekeeper, this SS officer allowed them to choose a female prisoner. Thus, in March 1943, Alice visited Ravensbrück to select a housekeeper. Whom did she choose? Erna Ludolph. Erna moved in with the Holtz family, who treated her well. After the war ended, she moved with the same family to Halle on the Saale. There, once again Erna met with opposition, this time from the Socialist authorities in East Germany. In 1957 the family was deported to West Germany, and Erna moved with them. At last Erna was free to practice her faith.
How did Erna come off triumphant in a special way? As a result of Erna’s fine conduct and skillful preaching of the Bible’s message, Alice Holtz and her five children all became baptized Witnesses of Jehovah. Furthermore, 11 of Alice’s grandchildren are also Witnesses. Two of them currently serve in the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Selters, Germany. “Our family is in the truth largely because of Erna’s example,” says Susanne, one of Alice’s daughters. Erna’s endurance was richly rewarded. What about your situation? Your faithful endurance under difficult circumstances may have similar rewarding results. Yes, fine conduct and skillful preaching might help you to come off triumphant in a special way.*
While this article was being prepared for publication, Erna Ludolph passed away at age 96. She was faithful to the end.
[Picture on page 31]
Erna Ludolph (seated) with members of the Holtz family