75th Anniversary of the Martyrdom of St. Maximilian Kolbe
From 1933 to the beginning of the war in 1939 the persecution of the Jews in Germany was
based on intimidation, confiscating their assets and property and coercing them to emigrate.
After the invasion of Poland which had a Jewish population of 3.5 million and the Nazis desire
‘for more living space,” there grew a need to find another “Solution”, for confiscation of their
assets and coercing Jews to emigrate was no longer a viable solution.
Therefore, Jews began to be rounded up and placed in “ghettos” where they were then
transported to extermination camps with the intention to annihilate the entire Jewish population.
As the Nazi conquest of Eastern and Western Europe grew so did the number of Jews who
were being sent to Concentration camps. The Nazis believed that with the conquest of Europe
at hand in the beginning months of the war, the next phase was to exterminate all and anyone
who were not racially pure and of Nazi ideology and this was primarily directed against the
The Jews were transported by train car from all over Europe.
As they were being rounded up into the cars people would watch from behind the curtains in
their homes. Of course they were watching. One could see the curtains moving and it was
impossible not to notice thousands of people being rounded up and forced into cattle cars. One
of the trains had written inside in pencil on it by one of the Jews, “Here in this carload, I am Eve
with my son Abel. If you see my other son Cain, son of man tell him I……”
Prayer : Heavenly Father, may I be a Good Samaritan to whoever I find hurting on the side of
the road no matter their color, creed or race for all are made in your image and likeness.
Questions and meditations :
1. How do we feel towards people of another race or color?
2. How do we feel towards people of another religion or creed?
3. Who is being rounded up today and persecuted?
4. Who is my mother, brother and sister?
5. Do I ever watch from behind the curtains?
6. How can I be an instrument for good?