Monday, October 5, 2009

Lest We Forget

Recently I received an e-mail and at the quotation marks you will find part of it. There is nothing that perplexes me quite as much as the way people have treated others over the centuries. I have always had a really hard time thinking that the Nazi atrocities occurred just a few years before Jim and I were born. It is hard to imagine what our parents must have felt bringing children into such a world. It makes me shutter. They had to be people of great hope and faith.

We once had the opportunity to visit the home of Anne Frank in Amsterdam and that had a very profound effect upon me. I read voraciously about the Holocaust for about two years after that just trying to understand it..I never did come to that point. Man's inhumanity to man defies understanding was my conclusion. No matter what our differences may be, killing is never the answer. When I think of this I try to be more grateful for the freedoms we enjoy in our country.

My brother and his wife recently returned from a visit to the Dachau Concentration Camp memorial. We had our sisters' lunch on Friday and as Emily and I returned home we had an opportunity to discuss it and the sobering feelings they felt both there and at the Holocaust Museum in DC. When I arrived home this just happened to be in my mailbox from a friend. If you ever think that you cannot make a difference as one individual just read and remember the story of Irena Sendler. She recently passed away at age 98. She was a German lady who requested a position as a plumbing specialist in the Warsaw Ghetto during WWII.


She had an 'ulterior motive' .... She knew the Nazis' plans for the Jews. Irena smuggled infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried and she kept in the back of her truck a burlap sack, (for larger kids..)

She also had a dog in the back that she trained to bark when
Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers of course wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises
. During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. She was caught, and the Nazi's broke both her legs, arms and beat her severely.

Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she smuggled out and kept them in a glass jar. She had buried it under a tree in her yard and after the war she tired to locate any parents that may have survived so she could reunite families. Most had not survived. Most of the kids she helped got placed in foster homes or were adopted."


Marie said...

I recently read this account of Irena as well. what a remarkable woman of courage. This weekend, Todd and I watched The Boy In The Striped Pajamas. What a disgusting blot on the history of manking the Holocaust was. May it never be repeated. They say that all it takes for evil to take place is for good people to do nothing. May good people all over the world jump to action whenever they see evil occuring.

LA Adams said...

Recently I went on vacation with my mother-in-law and found myself with some 85 year old veterans. It was very informative and interesting to get the World War II perspective from the boys who actually fought in the war instead of from a history book. The interesting thing was when I asked why they signed up, there was almost a bafflement expression, and then a answers of duty, saving Americans, and almost the feeling like it was of course their job.