Next to the grave of Theodor Herzl is Yad Vashem, the holocaust history museum.
It is all incomprehensible how this could ever happen. How do we explain this? We all feel the same, I know. One fourth were children.
The only light that shines on this is the many who tried to help. Part of the museum is dedicated to the thousands who tried to protect the children, help families and others escape, or who simply did their best to oppose
This statue is a tribute to all those who tried to help in any way to change the unfolding events.
One of the many who tried to help was Grandma Gretchen’s uncle: Paul Rabus. On the back of the family group sheet that Grandma prepared, she wrote this summary:
Paul Arthur Rabus, businessman, was thrown into prison and badly beaten because he was against the Nazi regime. In March 1944 his home and business were bombed out completely. All his money (about one million) was at that time confiscated, leaving him and Gertrud penniless. They built their business up again from nothing, Gertrud doing most of it. Uncle Paul died in 1951 with a stroke.
We can hope that there were many others who resisted once they understood.
So, what have we learned? It makes you wonder when we think about Cambodia, Uganda, and Myanmar.
In the summer of 1990 I worked in Sandomierz, Poland with Peter Reiling in a joint project between the Church and TechnoServe. Peter was Jewish and lived in Boston. His his grandparents had lived in Sandomierz and owned a large farm. As many other Jews, they were driven from the homes and have not been able to legally reclaim them.
A small Church near the old homestead still had despicable paintings on the walls of Jews. Peter was furious, and I was too.
How easy it is to drift from things that matter: Respect. Agency. Freedom of religion. Children of our Father in Heaven. Charity. Where is the anchor?
Yad Vashem means ” a name and a memorial”. It is taken from Isaiah 56:5. It is about righteous individuals who have no posterity of their own to remember them.
“I will give them in my house and within my walls, a monument and an name (yad vashem) better than sons or daughters. I will give them an everlasting name which shall not perish”