Posted on in Saints Are Us by The Rev. David Marshall
July 16th is a day the Church remembers six people who provided safety and escape for the victims of the Nazis. There are more than 23,000 others so far named who risked their lives as well.
- Raoul Wallenberg (Lutheran) was a Swedish humanitarian / diplomat whose resourcefulness saved thousands of Hungarian Jews.
- Hiram Bingham IV (Episcopalian), an American Diplomat in France, violated State Department protocol by arranging escape routes for Jews.
- Carl Lutz (Evangelical), a Swiss diplomat in Budapest, negotiated the safe passage for more than 10,000 Jews from Hungary to Palestine.
- Chiune Sugihara (Orthodox), while serving in the Japanese Consul in Lithuania arranged travel credentials for Lithuanian Jews so they could escape. In doing so he violated Japanese diplomatic policy and lived in disgrace in his own country.
- Andre Trocme (Reformed) and his wife, Magda, were French Christians who saved the lives of several thousand Jews in France.
To many it all seems like such a distant past—the 1930s through the 1940s—there are young people today who do not believe it happened, or those who now idealize the distorted standards of Nazism. We must never forget. If we do, evil will once again have reign.
There are some figures we should remember and tell our young. Among those killed:
- 6 million Jews;
- 500,000 Roma Gypsies;
- 90,000 disabled (mental and physical);
- 400 Jehovah Witnesses;
- 1.5 million children;
- 15,000 male homosexuals (used for medical experiments as early as 1936).
Lesbians who were blond Arian were used as breeding stock; the rest were killed. When the Allies came and liberated those in the camps, everyone was helped and freed except the men who were marked with a pink triangle (homosexuals)—they were left imprisoned.
Be aware, be alert to the signs of indifference when we are not paying attention, not staying close to God, and allowing society to stray. The evil ones are always on the lookout for opportunity to bring havoc into God’s Creation.
Some of you may think this “Saints Are Us” is too harsh. Good. We have to remind ourselves what we as humans are capable of—both good and evil. Evil is not what you see in horror movies, it is what lurks in the heart of each of us. We must be on guard and stay in the Grace of God.
See you next time –
I am your bro. John, O.C.P.