The Daily Prayer
WEDNESDAY, October 9, 2019
Oskar Schindler (1908-1974)
Oskar Schindler was a German living in Czechoslovakia when he joined the Nazi party in 1939. When Germany invaded Poland later that same year, he moved to Krakow and took over two manufacturing companies and, like many other businessmen there, made his fortune using cheap labor—Jews from the Krakow ghetto. When he began to witness the Germans killing and deporting Jews in the ghetto, Oskar was moved to transfer the Jewish workers from his factory to a safe place. Later, he received permission from the Germans to move not only his workers but other Jews as well to his native land of Czechoslovakia. Over time, Schindler’s occupation changed, until ultimately the rescue of the Jews became his top priority. Using the factory as cover, he saved more and more Jews, putting his own life in danger to ensure the safety of those in his protection. At one point, when a train carrying more than one thousand Jews was on its way to a new factory site in Czechoslovakia, it was accidentally diverted to Auschwitz. Schindler offered the Nazis diamonds and gold to make sure those in his care reached safety. Ultimately, Schindler saved twelve hundred Jews from extermination, and today there are more than seven thousand descendants of the Schindler Jews living all over the world. Through his actions, Schindler was a living example of the reality of human decency, love, goodness, and compassion in the face of unspeakable horror. He has been called an unlikely hero, not only because nothing in his prior life suggested the extent of his heroic deeds but also because he was an ordinary man who did extraordinary things. His life is a testament to the fact that we are all called to put our faith into action, sometimes in the most unexpected, bold, and courageous ways.
Oskar Schindler said, “He who saves one life saves the entire world.”
God, you never fail to dazzle us with your grace and mercy. We pray for the boldness to await the fulfillment of life that you promise, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.