Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is the day of the beginning for the uprising of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto. It’s important to remember that while many were silent, many others resisted the Nazis. The theme of this years remembrance by the United States Holocaust Museum is Choosing to Act: Stories of Rescue.
They record one such story of resistance:
“On September 1943, Nazi officials ordered the island’s mayor, Loukas Karrer, to hand over a list of the 275 Jews living in Zakynthos. Karrer turned to Greek Orthodox Bishop Chrysostomos for help. While the bishop negotiated for their lives, most of the island’s Jews fled into the remote mountain villages, where they were hidden by non-Jewish residents. When the Nazi commander again made his demand, Chrysostomos presented a list with just two names—his own and the mayor’s. “Here,” he said, “are your Jews. A year later, the two men defied another German demand to deport the Jews of Zakynthos. Thanks to the leaders’ continued courage and the villagers’ steadfast refusal to betray their Jewish neighbors, all the Jews of Zakynthos survived the war. ” http://www.ushmm.org/remembrance/dor/calendar/
Sadly most chose silence, and the result was the heartbreaking loss of over 6 million.
We have similar choice today. We can turn a blind eye to the persecution of others, or we can become a place of refuge. It’s immensely satisfying to us -as staff members- to be able to work for an organization that fully embraces the goal of welcoming people fleeing violence and persecution. Join us, will you?