An Embassy Beseiged – by Emmy Barth

It’s not often that I’ll recommend a book before I’ve read it – but this looks like a real cracker.

An Embassy Beseiged by Emmy Barth is the true story of the Bruderhof in Nazi Germany. This is a subject I touch on very very briefly in my own book – but it is part of an absolutely fascinating, challenging and inspiring story which continues to develop today.

I have said before, and will do again, that if you want to learn about Christian community, you should spend time with the Bruderhof. In this book I have no doubt we’ll learn much of the detail about one of the most foundational periods of their history – the time when they held out against Hitler’s Gestapo until they were finally forced into exile.

The Bruderhof remain one of the last truly countercultural movements of our time, some people call me an idealist, but even I find their lifestyle challenging to my mindset. Theirs is a story which we should all take time to absorb.

Here’s what others have said about the book:

This meticulously documented story of faith serves as a handbook of heroism for believers today. God knows, we too are “besieged” by forces of untruth and duplicity. May we, like the Bruderhof, be found faithful.

-Daniel Berrigan


Scripture tells us that we are to be a counter-cultural community, living out the radical teachings of Christ. This book sets a pattern for those who want to live faithfully in opposition to the dictatorial consumeristic culture of our age.

-Tony Campolo, Eastern University, St. Davids, PA


In An Embassy Besieged, a small community of Christians courageously and graciously refuses to compromise their faith in the face of the worst human evil. Their witness has much to teach us today in a world so riddled with prejudice, so tired of militarism, so starved for grace, and so desperate for imagination.

-Shane Claiborne, author, activist


Seeking to embody the Sermon on the Mount and articulating a clear Anabaptist theology of church and state, the early Bruderhof movement gives a courageous testimony to nonviolence in a harsh totalitarian state. Emmy Barth tells a compelling and well-crafted story that is hard to put down.

-Donald B. Kraybill, author of The Upside Down Kingdom

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