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Janez Rus lived in Germany during the days of the Nazi ruler Adolf Hitler. During that time he was a young shoemaker, looking to make his name prominent. Because of the power of the German government, he participated in public supports of the Nazi regime in hopes of gaining recognition. But after the regime fell, he realized the error of his ways, and out of fear, fled to his sister’s farm in Slovenia to hide. It was in her barn that he hid for thirty-two years, without so much as a visit to town or interaction with guests. After he was discovered, reporters interviewed him, wondering how someone stayed hidden for so many years. He told of how he allowed his fear to keep him at home, away from anyone outside his family.


Fear ruled Janez Rus’ life for thirty-two years. He went nowhere, visited no one, and lived a sad life of regret. Yes, the threat of retribution for his crimes was real, but he allowed the fear of what could happen rule his life.

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