Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Memories Still Vivid in My Mind

Creak . . . Creak . . . Creak . . . Creak

“Those memories are very vivid in my mind. I can still hear the sound of the swing I used to play with. I hear the friction of the cord against the metal in my head. I remember going through war with only one pair of shoes, and most of the time, I had my feet wrapped in cloth so I could walk in the street and not hurt myself.”

These are the words of Shoshana Golan as she watched a film about Poland during the annual dinner of the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, which provides financial assistance to non-Jews who risked their lives to rescue Jews during the Holocaust.

Golan and her “righteous Gentile, Wladyslawa Dudziak, were reunited after being apart since 1945. Golan, whose name back then was Rozia Beiman, was the daughter of Joseph and Sara Beiman, owners of a flour mill in Lublin, a city in eastern Poland. It is believed they were killed in the Majdanek concentration camp while trying to obtain passage out of Poland.

Orphaned and alone, Rozia found herself at the mercy of the family her parents had left her with, which was supposed to be for only a few days. Tekla Dudziak, a widow who was Christian, poor and living on a small farm in Kajetanowka, offered to take in the four year old Jewess child. Knowing that, if caught, her family would be killed, she was willing to risk all she had to save this child from being killed by the Germans or, worse yet, tortured in a concentration camp, facing horrendous treatment with death as the ultimate end.

Golan said, “Even though I was very young at the time, I knew I was Jewish and I was aware that they were taking a risk for me and I appreciated it. Even though we were very poor, I remember they used to get me Christmas presents, just like everyone else in the family. I felt wanted. I felt loved.”

Dudziak and her family loved and cared for Golan. Theirs was a true expression of Christian love. Is that the way we feel about God’s people? Would we make the same sacrifice to save the life of a stranger, regardless of who they are? Would we risk everything, including our lives to save just one Jew? If not, we should. We should not be so foolish as to be unprepared to make that choice, for who is to say we will never have to. We urge you to pray for the peace and protection of Jerusalem. (Psalm 122:6) We urge to pray for God’s chosen people.

The Jewish people have a double memory – a memory of indescribable evil and a memory of blessed righteousness. They must remember the millions who were murdered as well as the precious few who risked their lives and often the lives of their own families to save Jews, many of whom were total strangers.
Source material for this article can be found in Jerusalem Post .

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