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Andy writes this month.....
I visited the Holocaust Centre
Newark for the first time. It was as you might imagine a sobering
experience. The extermination of six million souls can hardly be
anything else. But the Centre sets out to do far more than simply
tell the story of Hitler’s genocide. It highlights the development
of anti-Semitic attitudes through the ages but also acknowledges
those who recognized it for the evil it is and acted against it.
(the rescue of Jewish children from Germany Austria Poland and
Czechoslovakia) was one such initiative that saved many hundreds of
children’s lives and took place during the nine months immediately
before the outbreak of World War II until the Nazis closed the Dutch
border and brought it to an end. One of those involved was Nicholas
Winton a British stockbroker who had planned to go to Switzerland on
a skiing holiday towards the end of 1938. He changed his plans at the
last minute to visit a friend in Prague who was working with Jewish
refugees and this experience inspired him to set up an escape route
through which almost seven hundred children were rescued from almost
certain death in the concentration camps of the Third Reich and found
foster homes in Britain.
Holocaust Centre was founded by two brothers Drs Stephen and James
Smith but they haven’t concentrated only on that one horrifying
event; both are now very active in working to prevent genocide
through a charity called the Aegis Trust saving people from it and
helping survivors to rebuild their lives. Winton and the Smith
brothers are just three of a large number of men and women who in
some cases have risked their personal safety and dedicated their own
resources to act against evil and save people from its consequences.
we approach Easter this description will resonate with those who are
aware of the events of Good Friday. At one level the rescue of
humanity from the fallout of its own inability to ‘love its
neighbour as itself’ is a noble mission in which every aid worker
charity donor and peace campaigner plays a part whether or not they
profess a faith. But it is an altogether different concept – and a
mind-blowing one – that Jesus gave his earthly life so that we
could share his eternal life and in doing so wiped out the lasting
consequences of the sin which would have made that impossible.
paying a price to save others is hardly an adequate way to represent
the death of Jesus on the cross it does give us a starting point to
understand why the first Easter happened.
Holocaust Centre is called ‘Beth
– the ‘house of wholeness and peace’. I pray that this Easter
may bring peace and wholeness to your house.
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