Reflections from the Heart of Allan Redenius
I recently read that one holocaust survivor, Joseph Kleinman, who testified against Adolf Eichmann, a Nazi commander at Auschwitz, recently died. He tells of his gripping survival story through this extermination camp. In 1930, at the age of 14, his whole family was rounded up and sent to Auschwitz. There he watched his mother, father, and sister die in this Nazi death camp.
Why am I recounting this? In 1960, I was eleven years old and one of my jobs was to deliver the early morning Des Moines Register. I could sling a newspaper a half a block and have it land right at your doorstep. But for a time, I was captivated by the morning headlines of Eichmann’s trial. At that early age, I was stunned at the inhumanity, the brutality of one man against another. While that trial progressed and I read the paper intently, I was often late and sometimes I imagined people slinging something back at me because their paper was not on time for morning coffee.
The plight of the Jews through the holocaust has forever been branded in my mind. Oh, some people today say that it never happened! One of my friends is living proof that it did happen. You see, he served in General Patton’s 4thArmored Division. As a tank commander, he and the 4th AD were one of the first to liberate one of many Nazi concentration camps. He showed me pictures that are too horrifying to describe. Once in the Nazi camp, the American soldiers made the Nazis uncover bodies buried in a mass grave and then hand dig a grave for each Jew.
To my Jewish friends, who are all too few, I stand with you as even today you experience persecution and discrimination. You alone have withstood the terrible past with grace.
To my Gentile friends, who are many, join with me as the Psalmist says in Psalm 122:6, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem…”
© Allan Redenius, All Rights Reserved
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