2nd July 1912

Edward Peter Muels, tried for showing kindness, is born

Muels paid the ultimate price for aiding a German soldier. That might not sound unusual, except that the prosecution itself was led by the Germany army.

He and his family had become friendly with a German soldier, David Hoost, who had been posted to Jersey as part of the occupation force. Finding himself stranded with a flat bike tyre, Hoost had knocked on the Muels family’s front door, only to discover them reading a Bible. It turned out that the Muels, like Hoost himself, were Jehovas’ Witnesses, and thus began an association between occupied and occupier. Hoost would visit them regularly and they’d study the Bible together.

Hoost’s admission

That all changed when Hoost arrived at the house with blood on his hands and admitted to the Muels that he’d shot a fellow German soldier. They helped him clean himself up and gave him fresh clothes which, in the authorities’ eyes, constituted helping him evade capture. When Hoost was arrested, he was shot, and Muels was tried by a German court martial for aiding one of their own to desert.

Muels’ conviction was likely a foregone conclusion. He was sentenced to a year and three months’ imprisonment with hard labour and transported to France. From there, he was carried by train to a German prison. He didn’t live long enough to serve his full sentence.


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