Maria Anne Hirschmann

Maria Anne Hirschmann “Hansi” was born in Czechoslovakia. Orphaned as a baby, she grew up in a foster home, experiencing loneliness, hunger, rejection and fear. After Nazi troops “liberated” Czechoslovakia, she was chosen for training to be a Nazi youth leader. Brainwashed, Maria’s god became Adolph Hitler, and when Germany fell, her world shattered too.

After spending several horrible months in a communist labor camp, one day Hansi walked out, expecting a bullet to end her life. The shot was never fired. After several weeks of walking in the rain and sleeping under trees or bridges, existing on

herbs and mushrooms, she ended up in “no man’s land.” After an incredible escape from a Russian death trap, she stood on freedom’s ground in Western Germany. Though she did not know Him through those times, God kept His hand on her life.

Finding Jesus Christ as her Savior and Lord in Western Germany, from there, in 1955, Hansi came with her family to the United States. She experienced extreme culture shock, but slowly learned to love America and its freedom, which she at first could not understand. She became a citizen of what she declares today the “greatest nation in the world” and she is proud to be “an American by choice.”

Hansi taught for several years in American schools, and drew recognition for her work with high school dropouts and troubled teenagers. In response to requests, she began to tell about her experiences. She soon recognized the call of God upon her life, which has resulted in her traveling to many countries and all over the United States telling what Christ has done in her life and of her deep appreciation for America.

Today, Maria Anne Hirschmann is the author of several books; her top bestseller is her autobiography: Hansi, the Girl Who Left the Swastika. The book sold more than 400,000 copies in the English language and has been translated into many other languages, including a Russian and Polish translation. Hansi and Betty also wrote several Bible study books.

Hansi is the recipient of several honors, including the Daughters of the American Revolution American Medal, a similar gold medal from the Sons of the American Revolution, and the distinguished Service Citation from the International Christian Endeavor Society.

Betty Pershing

Betty Pershing, Hansi’s traveling and ministry partner, is a specialist on the Holy Land. She especially loves God’s chosen people and has walked “His Land” on many occasions.

A dedicated Bible scholar, Betty has one of the most extensive collections of Jewish writings of any Gentile in the United States. She has a unique gift of making the Bible come alive and adds profound depth through picturesque references to its original historical setting.


Miss Pershing did graduate work at the University of Southern California and taught in Pepperdine University at the Speech Department for several years. She also served as director of Religious Education at one of Southern California’s largest churches. She served on the staff of Gospel Light Publications for 23 years, resigning to assume teaching and staff responsibilities for “Hansi Ministries, Inc.”

Betty is a popular Bible class teacher and retreat speaker. She is known as a Bible story teller for children. Her messages are Bible centered and sure to inspire a deeper love for Christ.

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