The Mennonite Saga is fiction based on fact. Lee Heide is of Mennonite descent. His grandfather was born in Russia and came to Canada in 1895. Using family material and extensive research, Heide tells their story of endless persecution until coming to Canada and of their life in this country.
Menno Simons was a Catholic priest in Holland. He broke away from the church in 1537 and formed his own religion and church. Always under persecution from Charles V, ruler of the Holy Roman Empire, Menno's followers were tortured and executed and there was a price on his head. He fled to Germany in 1554 where he dies in 1561.
Using the fictitious van Haydon family as a vehicule, with Jacob as a friend of Menno's , Heide tells the sotry of their travails in Holland and subsequent moves to Germany, Russia and Canada.
Describing Mennonite life in Canada, Heide concentrates on their contribution to World Wart II. Although they were exempt from military service, many volunteered in both combat and non-combat roles. The story follows one family member who becomes a Medic and serves throughout the war in England and Europe.