Courageous Choices - Part 2 (Transcript)

Dr. James Dobson: Well, hello everyone. I'm James Dobson and you're listening to Family Talk, a listener-supported ministry. In fact, thank you so much for being part of that support for James Dobson Family Institute.

Roger Marsh: Welcome back to Family Talk. I'm Roger Marsh. Are you familiar with the famous quote, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Well, those are the words of George Santayana, a Spanish-American philosopher who lived during the time of the Holocaust. During times like this, when we are reflecting on such horrific struggles, we encourage you to live by the words of Mr. Santayana. As Christians, we know that even though those were dark times, the Lord was still at work. Think of the words of David in Psalm 23:4. "Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Your rod and your staff, they comfort me." And some translations even say, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil."

Now remember, God is always with you. He's right alongside you. He will never leave you. He will never forsake you, even in your darkest hour. Now on today's program, you're in for a real treat. Joining us once again is our guest from yesterday's broadcast Diet Eman, along with our host Dr. James Dobson. The reason we're re-airing it this week is because we should never forget. We don't want to forget the history of evil and oppression or that of religious persecution, but also we should never forget the bravery and the courage of liberators like Diet Eman and the brave men and women who laid down their lives for others so that we may all live with the freedom to worship and thrive in a free country.

Diet Eman is a Holocaust survivor who was imprisoned by the Nazis for helping Jews escape to safety. At the time she was captured, she was a young woman in the Netherlands working for the resistance, and she returned to help in the fight to save lives even after she was released from a concentration camp. Diet Eman has a powerful testimony which she shared in her book called, Things We Couldn't Say. Today on the program, we'll hear Part two of Diet's conversation with Dr. Dobson. By the way, listener discretion is advised, especially if you have a very young one listening with you right now. Okay, here now is Diet Eman and our own Dr. James Dobson as we honor all of those who died in service, especially the men and women of our US Armed Forces, part of the greatest generation who ultimately liberated Europe.

Dr. James Dobson: Your fiancé, Hein, was shot or was he starved to death?

Diet Eman: If you couldn't work anymore, and they told that he was very weak by the time because he had survived those two horrible camps. Nearly nobody came out and then he was dragged to Dachau, and they told me that he was taken out of the back on a Sunday evening and never came back. And that was January 20, 1945. And you know what happened? This is so strange. I was at a farm and that farmer had to take six people from Arnhem. Arnhem was bombarded, had to evacuate, I don't know how many, 150,000 people. And the Germans just marched in the houses there in that area. And say, "You farm, you take six people, you take four." And we had Jews at this farm, but this farmer where I was often took six people in, and it was on the beautiful room, it's a big room and they only use it with weddings and funerals and they put a big double bed.

And the daughter of that family was two years older than I was. So she had to sleep in that bed and that was my address for if I was in that area. So if I was there, I always had to hop with Arnie in that same bed. We slept in a double bed. And I remember it was bitter cold because there was no heating anymore. And it was January 20. And I came there and I had such an unquiet feeling there is something with him, I feel it. And I didn't know the date. I said, "What date is it?" She said, "January 20." I said, "When he comes back, I'll ask him if he was very sick." That was the night he died.

Dr. James Dobson: Oh my.

Diet Eman: Can you believe it?

Dr. James Dobson: How long had it been since you had seen him?

Diet Eman: I had seen him just before he was arrested. I had seen him the last April 23 from where I saw him. It was a Sunday and we hadn't seen each other maybe in six weeks because he was the leader and he was always traveling, and I had a section where I had to take care and he wrote me a note. He said, "It's not good that we don't see each other, be Saturday night on that net farm." And he had inquired because we could never go where people knew us of course. So he said, "I've checked and in an Amish fort, and then that church they have communion and I'll pick you up Sunday morning on my bike and we go to communion and then we have dinner with the other leader.

There were only two leaders and he was six years old, he was married and they had a little baby. And he said, "Then we have dinner there." So that happened and it was April 23 and we had dinner. And after dinner the farmers always take a nap and we went on our bikes and it was the first day that the flowers from the fruit trees came out. And it was like he had a feeling that it was the last time. He told me everything about the work that he had never done, and I didn't really even want to know it.

And then he pulled out his Bible and he write for me, John 14. "In my Father's home are many mansions." And then we prayed together and it was so strange and people maybe think that I'm nuts, but we were on our bikes all alone in that country road and the trees blooming and I clearly heard a voice say, and you don't know Dutch, [inaudible 00:05:59]. That means have a good look at him. And it was like a voice. And I thought, this is crazy. So I heard it again. And he was very tall over six feet. And I looked up because this was so strange and he started laughing, he said, "Why are you staring at me?" And I did not dare to tell him. And he brought me to the farm and it was the last time I saw him.

Dr. James Dobson: The last time you saw him and you had wedding plans.

Diet Eman: My wedding.

Dr. James Dobson: You were going to get married as soon as the war was gone?

Diet Eman: We should already have been married. But we took our wedding license out just before that they came to arrest us.

Dr. James Dobson: Well those days are long gone Diet and the Lord is sure using you now. You speak seven languages, I understand.

Diet Eman: I studied seven language. I started studying Russian in the war. I thought the next war will be against Russia. And I didn't tell anybody. I thought if there is a war then they don't know it. But I can hear what the enemy says.

Dr. James Dobson: Are you serious? That's right.

Diet Eman: I'm honest. I did. And I took I think a year and a half and then Hein also first, and after then I took it. But our teacher was a vitalist and he was arrested and he was also killed in a camp. And then I later found another lady and I had more classes. And so I studied it three years. And at that time I could read and write it, but if you don't keep it up, you forget it.

Dr. James Dobson: Do you still love the Lord?

Diet Eman: Oh, yes. He does so much.

Dr. James Dobson: You have a personal relationship with Him?

Diet Eman: Oh, I wouldn't know what to do without Him. No. And I find every time that he is apart from love, that God has a sense of humor. Do you find that?

Dr. James Dobson: Oh, I certainly do. I do.

Diet Eman: I hate to say this, but sometime ago I follow with the Navigators one year through the Bible. And I think I need the discipline, but I had to be early. I didn't have a physical, so I had to be at 7:30 at the doctor. And if I don't do it right in the morning, my days are so busy then. So that day flew and the day got busy. I didn't do it. So the doctor said, "Tomorrow morning without breakfast to the lab." That day I didn't do it. And I hate to say it before you know it, I think about eight or nine days had passed and I hadn't. And I felt so guilty, but this was crazy.

I had to go very far and I was 79 and I was sitting in my car and I was griping to God, "Have you forgotten that I'm supposed to be retired and I have no time to read a book and I've canceled the paper and I've this and that and that." And I was griping, and all of a sudden it stopped. I think, "Idiot," you don't know your priorities. So I thought when I come home, I'm taking where I'm supposed to be today and read, it's always 40, 45 minutes. And then I'll take also when of where I'm behind. I come home, I'd been sitting and griping that I was 79 and so busy and that God had forgotten I was retired, and I opened the Bible where I'm supposed to be. Guess what? Moses was 80 when he let the Israelites out of Egypt.

Dr. James Dobson: That's the Lord's answer. Yeah.

Diet Eman: Then I start laughing. I think, Lord, you're telling me something I haven't even started yet. Do you find those things?

Dr. James Dobson: Oh I do.

Diet Eman: Isn't it terrific?

Dr. James Dobson: He always surprises me. I never know exactly where He's taking us. But no, He is the sovereign Lord and He knows what He's doing and I've learned to yield to Him.

Diet Eman: Now see, there were 175 women in that barrack. There were Jewish girls in the beginning and they were evangelizing. And when they were speaking, there was always a large crowd around them if the guards weren't watching. But I had my God. And also I'd found that they everywhere had spies to find out who I was. So I had to act a role. I became a loner, a lone person. And I didn't want anything because in the barrack were two people who had been [inaudible 00:10:06] all my false papers. I was supposed to be born and I didn't know a thing about it. And then the man was a very famous film star or actress, Annie [inaudible 00:10:19]. She was been through the whole world on her trips and why is Annie here?

And then they said she's engaged to a German. And I thought anything with German, stay away. So I didn't trust her. And then Annie [inaudible 00:10:33] hears from Billy [inaudible 00:10:35] who was born in Suriname where I'd never been. And she comes up to me and says, "Billy, I hear you were in Suriname now." I said, "Yes." He says, "Did you see me?" I said, "No, my dad had long leave and we were away, but I didn't know." And then she said, "Now where did you live?" I didn't know a street name in that city. So I said, "Sorry, sorry, I have diarrhea" I stormed to the bathroom. And I was, Lord, what am I going to do? She'll come back. And then the Lord was very good. There was a lady in her early 40s and the woman radiated sadness. So I kept my eye on her and they lived in Paramaribo, and I thought you are safe because you saw the suffering.

And that lady got diarrhea and she ran to the bathroom and there were 10 toilets right on a row. So I pretended that I had it too. And I sat next to her and I said, "Don't ask any questions. Will you please tell me everything about Paramaribo, street names and everything." So she told me. So after that I was ready for Annie [inaudible 00:11:38]. But I think how God takes care. Isn't it amazing? And then she came back to me and I always dreaded it, but then at least I knew some stuff.

Dr. James Dobson: The name of the book is, Things We Couldn't Say by Diet Eman. What's behind the title?

Diet Eman: Jim Scott chose that and he said at that time you couldn't talk about it. So we couldn't say it. And he said for afterwards, for many years, you didn't want to speak it so you couldn't say it. So that's how he felt. But the book was translated in Dutch and into German. And then in '96 I was asked to come to Germany, speak for churches, colleges. And when they found out my German was good, I was asked to speak for the biggest radio station in Stuttgart that covered half Germany. And then they told me, speak clear because Berlin wants to buy it. And on November 9th, we want to send it out over whole Germany. And they did. And after that I got so many letters from Germans. They asked me for forgiveness. And when wrote, "God says he will punish till in the third and fourth generation."

And he said, that's true. My grandfather was the boss of all the railroads. He sent those millions to the camps and the ovens. And my wife's father was your top guy from the SS in Holland. And he said, "We can't sleep. We sometimes wake up screaming in the night." But it was his grandfather. And then I wrote him back. I said, "But you didn't finish the sentence." It says, "God will punish in the third and fourth generation of those who hate me." And this man was suffering. He didn't hate God. And we have had some correspondence.

Dr. James Dobson: So German people, when they hear your message, ask you to forgive them and you think they bear a sense of guilt even today what took place?

Diet Eman: This was for me a test when I went to Germany and be surrounded by them. Will the hatred bubble up again? I spoke in a church and a lady came up to me. She was 51, this was in '96. So she was a baby or hardly born. And the tears streamed down her cheek. And she says to me, "There is not a day in my life that I don't have to think of the suffering we caused in the whole world." And I said, "You were a baby." And I met so many of those people and I ended up with having deep, deep pity because it's better that it's done to you than that you have done it and they hadn't even done it.

Dr. James Dobson: Well, I want to say to our listeners, "I've read this book, it is a page turner." You know what that is? You can't stop reading and it just pulls you in. It's a fascinating book. There's a great application to what we're going through today. We don't have that kind of oppression. But sin is sin and it's still represented here. And we're still killing babies, and we're moving even more and more in the direction of devaluing human life, which is really what was at the base of what occurred there in Holland. One last question. Does it hurt you to see how your native country of Holland has forgotten God?

Diet Eman: Terrible, terrible. And I found later out from somebody in the government that the real resistance, and I thought there was so many, there were only about 22,000 people, and we really thought that after this war was over, that the world would be a better place. And it didn't work that way. And it's deeply saddening. And back then the churches were crowded. If you didn't go early, they stood, they sat on the floors, they were hanging, they stood in the portals and they were crowded.

Dr. James Dobson: And now it's one of the most godless places on the face of the earth. Amsterdam is...

Diet Eman: Anything goes.

Dr. James Dobson: It's just an evil city.

Diet Eman: Because my friends, they say, "Don't you want to come back?" I would never want to live there again. No, I'm happy to visit my friends.

Dr. James Dobson: There still are strong Christians there.

Diet Eman: The farmers who know where the rain and the sunshine comes from. But the luxurious suburbs, churches are empty. Empty. We had all this morning and evening services long ago, the evening services were closed. And what happens now? They are so empty. So that is the only good thing. You have only two political parties, well that third one. But we have I think 16 parties. If a Dutch person doesn't agree and they believe story they start a new party. But they do that also with the churches. So we have so many denominations. But now because of this denomination, I always felt Jesus last prayer was that they be one. So I don't agree that it's wrong. But now because of out of need, they can't pay the heating anymore for 20 people in a big church. So they are getting together for that.

Dr. James Dobson: And they're selling those wonderful old cathedrals to Muslims.

Diet Eman: Not all cathedrals, but the regular churches.

Dr. James Dobson: Because they're empty.

Diet Eman: The Muslims want to buy them.

Dr. James Dobson: Are you praying for revival in your country?

Diet Eman: I hope so much. I hope so much. There's so much to pray for in the Netherlands. And abortion is nothing. Euthanasia is now official. They did it already without, but now it's official.

Dr. James Dobson: And at the time that the Nazis came in, the Germans came into your country, Christianity was almost universal, wasn't it?

Diet Eman: Oh, absolutely. And the difference between the Catholics and the Protestants, we were all one and we all believed in the same God.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah, you write in this book about the fact that people didn't even know if it was right before God to resist the German army 'cause they didn't want to displease God.

Diet Eman: No. That was one very small group who felt Jesus said, "Give Caesar what is Caesar's." So they felt when God gives us, we have to obey. But in our royal family, we have them since 1533, and they were always ground by the grace of God. They have all been Christians, they fought with us and they financed the war that Spain wanted to bring the Catholic faith by the sword. And then in the Netherlands, we are such free people that the Catholics sided with the Protestants against the power. You can't bring faith by the sword. So we had 80 years more with Spain and a Protestant prince from Germany financed it all. And they made him the first Prince of Orange. And then now the descendants are still descendants from this wonderful man and we love them.

Dr. James Dobson: When Queen Wilhelmina left Holland, you felt betrayed by her didn't you?

Diet Eman: Oh, so many. But see the Belgian king stayed and we considered her, you say [inaudible 00:19:02]. That was the title of the first. And we felt she was our mother. When there was need, she was always there and we loved her. Even the communists and the people who would like a republic loved her. But Leopold in Belgium stayed and he had many palaces, and the Germans told him, "You go in that palace," it had a high wall, and he could never speak to his people.

But our queen and the whole government, and were a wealthy country. We had the East Indies and the National Treasury. And the queen didn't want to leave. And the government said, "You have to go, you have to go." So she left for England, and then our government was there and that was the government God given to us because we had to struggle, who do we obey? But to us, it was so clear, our government, our ministers. And the minister did not, it was not a flight for fear. They left their wives and children in the Netherlands. They really did it to represent our country. So we obeyed them. And over the radio they gave us instructions immediately.

Dr. James Dobson: Diet, having seen so much history as it unfolds, what advice do you have for Americans and Canadians, younger people who haven't been through difficulty and haven't been through oppression? Do you have anything to say to them?

Diet Eman: Well, I would say we don't know what will happen. We don't know the future. But if we have faith, God will show it when the time is there. You don't know it beforehand, because during my lunchtime somebody asked about, I three times faced death. I really thought this is going to be my last minute. And you know something very special, when that comes, God gives you a special grace.

Dr. James Dobson: You were prepared to accept it.

Diet Eman: In 23. And when it had happened, then okay, God, if that's your will, it's okay. But when the danger has passed, it's taken away. And then later I had missed my hearing again. Would they believe me? And there was a third time that I thought, this is the end. And every time when you need it, you get that grace. And I think with young people too, when you face it, you feel what God's will is. And if you do that, then you get his strength and his blessing. But we don't know beforehand what's going to happen.

Dr. James Dobson: Despair is a sin. Do you agree?

Diet Eman: Yeah, but it's understandable. And I think God knows that Jesus in Gethsemane was suffering. He said, "Father let the cup pass." But he was not in despair, but he was suffering so much.

Dr. James Dobson: Sure.

Diet Eman: But suffering caused his despair.

Dr. James Dobson: Yeah. Diet, I appreciate you coming and spending these two days with us and for talking to me here. Thank you for being with us.

Diet Eman: It was good to be here. Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Dr. James Dobson: Let's stay in touch.

Roger Marsh: Wow. Diet Emen's life is truly an example of what it looks like to have unlimited, unconditional faith in God and to be brave enough to follow his will. You've been listening to Diet Eman and our conversation with our own Dr. James Dobson here on Family Talk. This was part two of their discussion. If you missed any part of today's or yesterday's program, just visit That's There you can listen to any part of what you might have missed and you can easily share the full interview in its entirety with family and friends as well. Part one and two of the program are archived at talk. Perhaps there's a teenager in your world or maybe a young person you know who doesn't realize the full extent of the Holocaust or the heroics of people like Diet Eman and others who survived.

Well, be sure to share this program with them so that all of us shall never forget the evil that existed during that dark period of world history. Now, you know, Mother's Day has come and gone, but a mom's job is year round. Can I get an amen for that? Moms have the toughest job on the planet hands down, and I say that as a father of six from changing diapers to reading bedtime stories, preparing healthy meals, waiting up for their teenagers to get home, or just worrying about their young adults who are hopefully trying to make it in the world. Moms deserve our recognition, our affirmation, and they need our support as well. That's why here at the JDFI, we have our new Empowering Moms series. It provides practical parenting advice, packed with timeless scriptural truths and a prayer to encourage, renew, and inspire you.

To start receiving the Empowering Moms series, simply visit to sign up for this new special eight part series. That's Now friends, before we wrap up our time together, I want to share a need. Family Talk and the ministry of the Dr. James Dobson Family Institute well we're preparing for the long hot summer months. Traditionally, summer is a time when charitable organizations experience a bit of a downturn in giving. We understand that, but right now, with so many families struggling because of high inflation rates, that economic hardship is even worse. In spite of that fact, if the Lord has positioned you to have a little bit extra after you take care of your family and your church obligations and you find it in your heart to assist us, we promise that we will all steward the monies very, very well and put them to good use.

You can make a donation online. Our website is That's You can also call us at 877-732-6825. You've been listening to Family Talk and I'm Roger Marsh. From all of us here at the JDFI thank you for listening and thank you for your prayers and your financial support. Remember this weekend, fly the US flag, Old Glory and go out and celebrate and honor those who have fallen for us, the good men and women of the United States Armed Forces who bravely died so that others, often those on foreign soil from other countries, could live free and worship as we do. May God continue to richly bless you and your family. And be sure to join us again Monday for another edition of Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk.

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