A rough sketch of Bjorn Bauerfeind leaving East Germany to serve as a Missionary.
Several months ago I received an email from Bjorn Bauerfeind, a young business man who lives in Leipzig, Germany. He was aware that I have painted many Historical Paintings, representing the early history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He explained that he would like me to paint some scenes of the history of the Church in East Germany.
Before the Berlin Wall came down in 1989 The DPR or Democratic Peoples Republic of Germany was known as East Germany by those of us in the West and Bjorn's home of Leipzig is located there. When World War Two ended in 1945, Germany was devastated. They had lost millions of people, soldiers and civilians. Primarily a result of Hitler and the Nazi leadership in Germany being determined to fight to the death. After the fighting ceased, the nation of Germany was divided. The Allies, consisting of the Americans, British and French, instituted a more open and free government in West Germany and the Russians created a harsh communist government in East Germany. Over the years, fences went up, guards were posted and eventually the wall went up, all to keep people from fleeing the confines of East Germany. Many people were imprisoned, or shot and killed trying to leave.
Wherever Communism governs, there is a determined effort to abolish religion. Church people of all religions were the victims of Official persecution and bigotry. Opportunities in work and education were revoked by those who practiced their faith. Church meetings were always under surveillance by Government spies.
So how did the young Mormon, named Bjorn Baurfiend, come to serve an L.D.S. Mission in Oregon in the United States? To be continued....