When Hitler began his “Final Solution,” the Jewish people and several other groups of people had no idea what was coming their way. As people began to disappear and their families began to realize that Hitler was going to kill all of them, they began, in a panic, to try to figure out a way out of the German occupied areas of Europe. By the time people realized that they were in deep trouble, it was often too late, or nearly too late. Walls and fences surrounded them, with armed guards set up at all entrances to keep the people inside their prison walls. There seemed to be no way out.
This was where the resistance really came in. Some of the resistance personnel were Jewish people in the camps or towns, but some were the Christian citizens of the towns. They were not Jewish, and were not in trouble, but the felt a deep love for humanity and a deep sense of wrong and right. They could not stand by and do nothing, while people were killed. They took people into their homes, and built hiding places for them. Extra walls were built into rooms, making them slightly smaller, but providing a tiny space where the Jewish people they were helping could take refuge. It was a huge risk, because if they were caught helping the Jewish people, they would be killed or sent to the work camps.
The Jewish people who were being hidden no longer had access to ration cards, so they could not buy food. The people who were hiding them had to share their food, meaning their own meager rations had to feed more people that before. Everyone lost weight. Everyone became weaker. People learned to find roots, mushrooms, berries and anything else they could forage in the forests…when they could get to the forest. Everyone was thinner in those days…dangerously thin, especially the Jewish people.
People, like Corrie ten Boom, who helped the Jewish people, gypsies, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, took great risks. Sometimes, they were turned in by their neighbors…for the reward money the Nazis offered. Other people hated the Jewish people as much as Hitler, and they turned them in out of hate. They didn’t care if there was a reward or not. Some people were as full of hate as the Nazis. Nevertheless, While the Nazis and the Nazi sympathizers were filled with hate, many people of that era were filled with love for their fellowman, and did not see the race, religious, or cultural differences. They just saw people, and knew they could not stand by, witnesses to the slaughter, and do nothing. The integrity of these people makes me wonder why things can’t be that way in our times. The best way bring change in any society is through love for one another…not hate. The people who fought against the Nazis and showed compassion for the Jewish people, gypsies, and Jehovah’s Witnesses, were willing to die to save people…not to destroy them.