A true Holocaust story, The Lion and the Lamb begins with a mysterious plane crash which catapults architect Albert Speer into Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. When the two Nazi leaders become close confidantes, Speer is forced into constant competition with Heinrich Himmler, Joseph Goebbels and the unstable Hermann Göring. After a botched assassination attempt reveals Albert Speer’s name in an SS investigation, Speer is ostracized by the staff and falls under Hitler’s suspicion for disloyalty. As the Russian army advances on Berlin, Speer is poisoned, lied about, and forced to fight for his standing with the most evil and calculating men in Europe. Will Speer survive his last-minute trip to the Führer’s bunker just hours before the end?
The Lion and the Lamb also tells the story of a Dutch Resistance worker named Corrie ten Boom who leads her entire family into a desperate struggle against the Nazi’s anti-Jewish policies in Holland. Like Speer, Corrie is thrust into a psychological torture chamber suffering daily anguish from abusive guards. She is forced to travel from prison to prison in Nazi death trains after her underground operation is raided by the secret police. A novel of innocence, betrayal and tragedy, The Lion and the Lamb is an absorbing tale of how war-torn people cling to the power of hope and faith.
If my high school and college textbooks had been written this way, I would have been a more eager student of history. The Lion and the Lamb is an anomaly in the genre of historical fiction because every character is real, their words are often their own, and events (between 1942-1966) are recounted chronologically. Essentially, Charles Causey’s narrative infuses the human factors of emotion and moral dilemma into what could otherwise be a dry recollection of facts.
Having read The Hiding Place, I was somewhat familiar with the life and ministry of Corrie ten Boom. However, when her story is laid beside Albert Speer’s I realized several things. The first was a staggering illustration of “cause and effect.” Speer’s place in Hitler’s inner circle exposed him to many decisions which had a trickle down effect on ten Boom. Also, the way the darkness of the Reich pervaded their lives and how each reacted —Speer in his own strength and Corrie in God’s—provided a stark contrast in wisdom. Finally, while I still may not have the ability to recount times and dates, I have a better grasp of how key decisions turned the war.
The Lion and the Lamb is a poignant glimpse into the past. This book held many new discoveries for me and I felt compelled by the author’s writing to examine myself and my faith. How might I have reacted in similar circumstance? This would be a wonderful title for a book discussion group or a reluctant student of history (high school/homeschool where maturity allows).
With thanks to the author/publisher for providing me with a review copy. All opinions are my own.