The picture of the Jewish Women and Children above is from a group of 1,684 Jews, of whom 1,670 survived the ride to Switzerland aboard the Kasztner train in 1944. The man who made this possible was Rezső Kasztner.
He sounds like a hero to me, but some people want more than results, they demand documentation of faultlessness, or else.
An Israeli judge, Benjamin Halevy, found Rezső Kasztner guilty of “selling his soul to the devil.” The Judge decided that Kasztner didn’t warn other Jews to flee. Kasztner’s motive was supposedly to selfishly save a “smaller number of Jews,” including his family and friends.
An angry citizen, acting on one-sided publicity and outrage, assassinated Rezső Kasztner in 1957.
Judge Halevy was appointed to the Supreme Court of Israel in 1963, but before that…
The Supreme Court of Israel posthumously exonerated Kasztner in 1958. One of those judges, Shneur Zalman Cheshin, wrote this:
“On the basis of the extensive and diverse material which was compiled in the course of the hearing, it is easy to describe Kastner as ‘blacker than black’ and place the mark of Cain on his forehead, but it is also possible to describe him as purer than the driven snow and regard him as ‘the righteous of our generation.’ A man who exposed himself to mortal danger in order to save others.” — Shneur Zalman Cheshin of the Israeli Supreme Court, 1958
Erwin Lutzer, the author of When a Nation Forgets God, quotes a German man…
“I lived in Germany during the Nazi Holocaust. I considered myself a Christian. We heard stories of what was happening to the Jews, but we tried to distance ourselves from it because what could anyone do to stop it? A railroad track ran behind our church, and each Sunday morning we could hear the whistle in the distance and then wheels coming over the tracks. We became disturbed as we heard the cries coming from the train as it passed by. We realized that it was carrying Jews like cattle in the cars. Week after week the whistle would blow. We dreaded to hear the sound of those wheels because we knew that we could hear the cries of the Jews on route to a death camp. Their screams tormented us. We knew the time the train was coming and when we heard the whistle blow, we began singing hymns. By the time the train came past our church, we were singing at the top of our voices. If we heard the screams, we sang more loudly and soon we heard them no more. Years have passed, and no one talks about it anymore. But I still hear that train whistle in my sleep. God forgive me. Forgive all of us who called ourselves Christians and yet did nothing to intervene.” — When a Nation Forgets God, 7 lessons we must learn from Nazi Germany, by Erwin W. Lutzer.
Is there a lesson for us in this?
What is it?
Morrill Talmage Moorehead, MD
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