Monday, November 26, 2012
Two December's ago, I visited my friends Steve and Liz Powell in Minnesota. While I was visiting them, Liz's Grandpa let me borrow a book about the Holocaust he had recently read. It tells the story of a Jewish stereotypist (printer) from Norway who survived the Holocaust through participating in a huge counterfeiting operation in the concentration camps.
He and others, were charged with designing millions of British pounds in an effort to disintegrate the British economy and cripple the nation for Nazi takeover.
As I've been reading the book, I've just been reminded of the reality of suffering in our world. Nachstern's biography tells stories of concentration camps, of starvation and abuse, that still go on in various parts of this world. His story, and the stories of others provide us with vivid images of some of the atrocities that human beings commit against each other.
Right now, around the world there are people who are fighting for basic rights and freedoms, and who are trapped in unjust systems. May we be ever vigilant to prevent these evils from spreading, and may we always be ready to speak out on behalf of our fellow human beings.
This book hasn't been a pleasant read, but I didn't expect it to be. It serves as a reminder of the darkness that dwells in human hearts along with the incredible perseverance of individuals as they work to survive horrible conditions. May we not forget the evils of the past, nor sit silently when evil is being perpetrated now. If you get the opportunity, give this book a read, and let it remind you of your sacred duty to love your neighbor as yourself.