Stand Together — 75 Years Since Auschwitz

It is 75 years since the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops on January 27, 1945. There are now few survivors. Fewer to tell the story. It is a horror that has haunted history and blemished Europe.

Adventists had a small part in that story — some hiding and protecting Jews, some ending up in the death camps themselves.

Visit Adventist Church headquarters in Riga, Latvia, and you will find a small star of David in the pavement outside the building. Scattered across the city, the stars are memorials to the brave citizens who hid or helped Jews during the Nazi occupation.

Not far up the road is another star, outside a simple timber-frame building where two Adventist sisters lived in an upstairs apartment. They took in a 17-year-old Jewish boy, sheltering him at great risk to their own lives. Their kindness led to his acceptance of Christianity. Ysack Kleimanis eventually became a minister and one of Latvia’s most effective soul winners.

In Hungary, László Michnay saved the lives of over fifty Jews, hiding them in church properties and with church members, and working to help them escape.

“There were so few that had the courage for this,” recalls Magda Berzenczey, Michnay’s daughter, referring to Adventists who helped Jews during the Nazi period. “Yes, there were some, but there should have been more, many more.”

Michnay decided to build up a clandestine network for the rescue of Jews. His faithful wife, Jolán, a “mother in Israel,” supported him wholeheartedly.

Central to his rescue operation was the Adventist church building on Székely Bertalan Street, near the Jewish ghetto. In a range of small rooms, corridors, and corners of this building — in cellars, attics, under the stairways, and behind the stage — the fearless pastor kept in hiding a number of Jews, code-named “U-boats.” He made no distinction between Adventists of Jewish descent or Jews. Michnay tried to help everyone who asked.

You can read his full story here.

Auschwitz symbolizes the horror of the Nazi death camps and the genocide that wiped out 6 million innocent lives. Yet Adventists were not immune to the horror of the death camps.

In a moving documentary that highlights Adventist mission in the TED across 90 years, Raafat Kamal, TED President, shares stories of hope and courage that still inspire us to mission today. Among those stories is the testimony of Polish Union President, Ryszard Jankowski. He recounted how nine of his family members were incarcerated in Auschwitz and Ravensbrück because they faithfully kept the Sabbath. Most of them died there.

While Jankowski shared the story with obvious emotion, he also states that it is their example of faithfulness that inspires him to mission. Watch the full documentary below. (Jankowski’s testimony starts from 11 minutes.)

Holocaust Memorial Day is more than a history lesson. There is an insistence that history should not be repeated, despite more recent crises in Rwanda, the Balkans, and with the Rohingya peoples.

“More than one million people, most of them Jews, were murdered at the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland before it was liberated in January 1945. Remembrance is not enough, and past lessons are quickly forgotten,” remarks TED President Raafat Kamal. “Today, evil and hatred is on the increase with new faces. The remedy can only be found as reflected in the mission of our Seventh-day Adventist Church, ‘Make disciples of Jesus Christ who live as His loving witnesses and proclaim to all people the everlasting gospel of the Three Angels’ Messages in preparation for His soon return’.”

"The horror of the holocaust is not dimmed by time,” states TED Executive Secretary Audrey Andersson. “Rather the passing of time puts a greater responsibility on all of us to work for reconciliation where there is war and discord, to ensure these events are never repeated."

A poem by Geoffrey Anketell Studdert Kennedy highlights our desire for peace and the horror of war:

Waste of Muscle, waste of Brain, Waste of Patience, waste of Pain, Waste of Manhood, waste of Health, Waste of Beauty, waste of Wealth, Waste of Blood, and waste of Tears, Waste of Youth’s most precious years, Waste of ways the Saints have trod, Waste of Glory, waste of God,— War!

Today we sorrow with those that mourn. We commemorate those who stood by the dispossessed and we commit ourselves to follow the wisdom of Micah 6:8: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?” (AMPC)

This article was written by Victor Hulbert, communication director for the Trans-European Division, and was originally published by the TED News Network, the official news service of the Trans-European Division of the Seventh-day Adventist church.

Image credit: Video still / TED

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This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/10174
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At least one French Seventh day Adventist was sent to the
concentration camps.
The sister of a French Seventh day Adventist who saved hundreds of Jewish
persons and got them transported to Switzerland.

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Hitler is largely credited with this madness, but he had helpers. It started with his manifesto which got accepted and he was voted into political office. Even when some people realized what he had in mind, very few spoke against it. In a way, Hitler did what was in many people’s minds but these people were not brave enough to do it themselves.

Why am I saying this? The spirit of Hitler is still here with us. Any form of intolerance and bigotry is Hitlerism.

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When we see leadership that embraces racist white nationalism, when we see that same leadership befriending leaders in other parts of the world that maintain their positions of totalitarian power by killing their rivals, when we see leadership that denies a safe haven from drug lords, sex traffickers and the ravages of war, when we see leadership that abandons our comrades in arms when it becomes convenient handing over territory to our enemies, when we see leadership that backs our trading partner countries to the wall in order to secure economic gain, when our leadership is instituting policy that only affords entry based on economic status, when our leadership lies daily to its constituents hundreds, even thousands of times, we are seeing the return of Hitler.

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Why can’t they see it?

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Lest we forget we must be reminded.

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And when we see how many support the returning Hitler, it’s really mind boggling and, honestly, very scary!!!

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Brain wiring, they don’t want to see it. I still don’t get it, how can ANY Christian support a person with such a rotten and deplorable character? Baffling!!!

When Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, my parents fled away (from Ostrava) to Belgium* and spent the next 4 years there. One day my Dad (not a Jew) was picked up and sent to a concentration camp in France (Perpignan), by mistake. Spent 3 months there, survived a wave of typhus.
He spoke perfect German, so finally he convinced the officials in charge that he was a German from Berlin. He knew Berlin well, and could tell a fake story about where in town he lived. A German kept in a German concentration camp??? That could be trouble for those in charge of the camp. That very night they shipped him to Berlin, by train. In the middle of the night he jumped off the train, and made it back home in Belgium. Knocked on the door at midnight, my Mom would not open the door when she saw him, bearded, thin like a cadaver. He had to identify himself before she let him in. Worth making a movie!!!

I bet you already suspect that I do not like the modern Hitler, right?.. :roll_eyes:
-=-=-=-=-=-
*My Dad HAD TO flee away, or else… He left town in the last train the night before the invasion. It’s another story, but the Germans were looking for him first thing in the morning when they invaded around 5am. He was already in Prague, on his way to Belgium. My mother would drive with the kids 3 months latter to reunite with him in Belgium. She was lucky the Germs did not execute her and the whole family.

After the war they went back home in Czechoslovakia. Then after a while the Commies took the Government, and closed the borders. Another fascinating story of fleeing away from a Communist country. But they made it, with three children. Went to France for 3 years as refugees in 1947. I was born there (Saint Raphael, Cote d’Azur, by the Mediterranean) in 1950, then we moved to Brazil where I celebrated my first birthday!.. :wink:

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Great story George,

You should write a book about your family. We need to keep these things fresh in our minds so we don’t allow them to be repeated.

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You are absolutely correct. The above stories were just a selection - and as it was written for the Trans-European Division website the focus was on people from within that Division. The German Unions also made a very positive response and tribute.

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I have no idea what you are saying. Can you summarize in a couple of sentences?

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Simon,

Hugh???

LOL…
Aren’t you asking way too much Harrpa? :wink:

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I have absolutely no desire to know what your talking about.

i visited auschwitz at 14, and this kennedy poem expresses just how i felt at the time, taking it all in…it’s a mind-numbing scene, one that left a huge impression…as i recall it, there was room after room of things like hair, bones, clothing and personal items like shoes and combs - things that belonged to and were from actual people - that told a horror story on a scale that’s almost unimaginable…auschwitz is something that should be commemorated regularly…it should be taught in schools…never again can we allow society to descend to such unspeakable cruelty and apathy…

i shudder to think what the time of trouble must be…most times, i truly hope i’m dead and buried when it hits…as i thought then, while viewing auschwitz, and still think now, life is a literal hell when satan is in full control…we cannot thank god enough that he has set limits on satan, at least for the time being…

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They (Israel) had been witnesses to the majesty, power, and mercy of God; and their unbelief and discontent incurred the greater guilt. They had covenanted to obey His authority. Their murmuring was now rebellion, and as such it must receive prompt punishment if Israel was to be preserved from anarchy and ruin. “The fire of Jehovah burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.” The most guilty of the complainers were slain by lightning from the cloud. EP 265

We never discuss the fall of Israel and why and as a warning

By leading Israel to this daring insult and blasphemy to Jehovah, Satan had planned to cause their ruin. Since they had proved themselves to be so utterly degraded, so lost to all sense of the privileges and blessings that God had offered them, and to their own solemn and repeated pledges of loyalty, the Lord would, he believed, divorce them from Himself and devote them to destruction. Thus would be secured the extinction of the seed of Abraham, that seed of promise that was to preserve the knowledge of the living God, and through whom He was to come - the true Seed, that was to conquer Satan. The great rebel had planned to destroy Israel, and thus thwart the purposes of God. But again he was defeated. Sinful as they were, the people of Israel were not destroyed. While those who stubbornly ranged themselves on the side of Satan were cut off, the people, humbled and repentant, were mercifully pardoned. The history of this sin was to stand as a perpetual testimony to the guilt and punishment of idolatry, and the justice and long-suffering mercy of God. PP 335.2

Why do we get drawn to blaming leaders and questioning GOD
When clearly Lucifer got among the jewish with idolatry so GOD withdrew his protection

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Simon, you spread antisemitism in your posts.
75 years after Auschwitz. Still.
Unbelievable.

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I had a friend in academy who was born in Hungary. His family fled during the Hungarian revolt against commu ism in the late 1950s and were refugees to the US. He told me of the horrible brutality of the Soviet Union that crushed the resistance. My neighbor where I once lived on the coast of California fought in the Russia Revolution against the Bolshevics a hundred years ago. He told me how ruthless a butcher Lenin and later Stalin were. He got out and was able to come to US. My neighbor across my back fence here in Idaho, speaks with a noticable Germain accent. She is in her late 80s. She was born in Germany during Hitlers time. She married an American soldier stationed in Germany in 1962, and came to US with him when his tour of duty was over. She says people really don’t appreciate freedom enough here because they have never lived under a madman like Hitler. I know a young man who is 24 and he likens Trump to Hitler and tells how great he thinks Mao of China was. What a fool. Mao killed 60 million of his own people during his culture revolution in China. He was a communist butcher. This kid is thoroughly been brainwashed by the leftwing in this country who dance to the Marxist pied pipers like Bernie Sanders.

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Read the book “Flee the Captor.” And yes, George needs to write a book about what he speaks here. Tyranny in all of its forms is anti freedom, anti God and satanic. We should remember that the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. Those who do not learn from history are certain to repeat it. War is hell, but where would the world be today if Germany, Italy and Japan had conquered the world in the 1940s?

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Oooooooops… :roll_eyes: