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Days of terror


Days Of Terror






I think this book was really great and very interesting. I found that the book got more exciting towards the end and middle part. This book became really boring and unbearable at some points and I just had to throw it a down and take a nap. But then again at some point it became so exciting I couldn’t put it down without constantly thinking what else would happen.


In the first chunk of this novel the book describes how a Mennonite family in Russia. A young boy named Otto who is a brother to Peter has gone to war and is a medic because it’s against his religion to use a gun or harm someone. He is coming back and his brother is really excited about his brother coming back home. When Peter and his father go to pick up his older brother Otto they find them selves being accused of being spies, and people pointing at them and shouting “all Germans should be killed”. I think that this is very ridiculous behaviour and that peter, Otto and his father must have been deeply hurt by this scene. I also think that if any person would discriminate anyone else just because of his or her race is a person who is yet to learn that everyone is the dame no matter what colour of skin or race. Anyway after they arrive home Peter finds himself doing lots of work that he did not expect to be doing and Otto having to do also lots of work and not being able to spend time with him. During this period of “peace” Peter has lots of laughs and all good things have to come to an end.



Shortly after all these good times come to an end, burglars come to this town of Tiegen. In Tiegen no one had a weapon because it was against Mennonite religion to harm anyone and they always obeyed the 10 commandments. I think that this is really great that these Mennonites have their own religion and that they can so honestly obey it. By not harming anyone they are setting a great example for the rest of us, because if no one would intentionally harm anyone there would be no violence or any policemen, it would be great. Well the burglars came and Peter and Otto managed to scare them off by dressing in these Indian costumes they have received from Canada and dancing around, the buglers were frightened of the bows and strange costumes so they ran away, and didn’t come back. I think that this was a very brave thing Otto and peter did considering that the burglars had guns and weapons and all they had was a weird costumes and bows which they never used before. After this everything started to go downhill…


Schools started to close in these Mennonite villages and children were not taught how to speak German or taught about their beliefs and religions anymore. As the war front moved towards the village of Tiegen soviet soldiers needed places to stay and stay so the city of Tiegen became one of their headquarters. The general and 5 other soviet soldiers came to take over the church so the Mennonites would have no where to speak to god and register their prays and beliefs, but peters grandfather stood before the doors of the church and refused to let the soviets enter. This was a very effective way until the soldiers removed the grandfather and took him to jail for punishment. I think that this was once again a very brave and noble thing to do in such a time. After the soviets rampage the city they take everything they can to use, such as goods, cars, food and anything else. Once they left the city several days after Germans took control of the city and the Germans helped fix and repair all the damages that the soviets have made to this poor city of Mennonites. As said in the book on page 80 paragraph 3, line 3 “this time the people talked and laughed with them. When they weren’t drilling with their guns, they mended the fences and helped plough the gardens.” I think that this pretty much summarizes what the German armies did and what the soviet armies did not. I feel that this is a very wise and kind thing to do what the German armies did. They became like family members to the families, they not only take things from the families they also gave their help when needed and I think that was a really great thing.


Next after the German armies were falling the Mennonites assembled a self-defence unit, which Otto was a part of. But this wasn’t a very good move according to his religion because according to his religion he must not harm or kill anyone else. But it was the only hope because they Russian armies and Bandits have sworn to kill all Mennonites, which aided the Germans. This was a pretty scary situation; it was scary because you knew there was someone who is going to come try to kill you just because you helped someone else. After a while the bandits started to come to the town and peters family has had made several arrangements on what if scenarios. Everything was worked out and the main plan was to satisfy the bandits that came with food and warmth from the fire. This worked for most part but at the end it failed and peters father rushed into the room turned of the lights and bravely fought the men for their guns, after he had grabbed the guns he ran outside and threw them into the yard. After he rejoined his family in the orchard he was bleeding because a bullet had just nicked his ear. I think that in these types of situations you might even have to question your religion and just try to survive and protect your family as well as you can.


Back in the town there was talk of people getting killed by bandits because they did not satisfy them and so they killed them. There was also talk about the Mass migration, which is being planned for all the Mennonites. After winter had come bandits have left and the soviet armies have once again returned to the town to seek hospitality. This time they were filthy, dirty, and smelly and had some serious health issues. Peter and his sister were not allowed near them because of the sicknesses they carry. After several days the family was starting to run low on food and supplies, eventually peter started to chop down trees and gather wood for the fireplace. When he opened the doors to the summerhouse he was surprised to have found his long lost brother Otto who had left the self defence unit because it was dismantled and is now hiding because he fears that the soviet army will imprison him or kill him. Peter understands and goes to fetch supplies for him. It is not long though that soviet soldiers show up looking for Otto at his home for imprisonment, but he is not there he is long gone.


After the soviets leave once again the family suffers great depression due to lack of food and the big drought, which prevents from food being grown. After a while they decided to migrate to Canada where they will start a new life. As they travel to the borders they are checked, examined and checked again to make sure that they are fit to meet all the standards of being able to go to Canada. During this period Aunt Lizze falls sick along with Peters sister “Katya” who catches the measles. Due this Lizze and Katya cannot come to Canada because they would just be bringing new diseases to a new world. After they decided that they would meet up in Canada after Lizze and Katya become well once again, Peter meets Otto and gives him a supply of money, which was kept hidden for emergencies. Otto says he will contact them from Holland from where he will travel to North America.


In conclusion the family suffers great losses and has to leave grandpa behind also because of his age. Once they reach Canada they are welcomed and looked after by a Canadian family, which is really nice to them and helps them out in whichever way they can. I think that I can relate to this as for when I go somewhere completely new I always appreciate when people show me around and give me advice, I also try to be the same and when I see someone in need of help I volunteer to help them out of whatever troubles they are in. Aunt Lizze dies of a disease that was carried by the soviet soldiers, Katya recovers and comes to Canada also eventually. After long waiting news of Otto reaches them and they are once again reunited as a family in a new country… a free country! CANADA!


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Last modified: May 16, 2001