Avi Snyder gives an insider’s perspective on our “Two Sons of the Holocaust” events
More on this year’s "Two Sons of the Holocaust, by Avi Snyder, with Kata Tar
January 17 marked the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Budapest Ghetto by the Soviet Army. Ten days later, many countries in Europe commemorated the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. We chose those dates to hold two very poignant evangelistic events: one in Budapest on the 17th, and the other in Berlin on the 27th.
Our program, “Two Sons of the Holocaust,” featured three very special speakers; two Jewish, the other Austrian. Karl Flesch survived the Budapest Ghetto and actually turned twelve on the very day that the Ghetto was liberated. Barry B. from our London office is not himself a Holocaust survivor, but his mother is. She escaped Berlin on one of the Kindertransports that took Jewish children out of Germany on the eve of the outbreak of war. Werner Oder, our Austrian friend, is the son of an SS officer who was one of the men responsible for training the Einsatzgrüppen, Hitler’s special extermination squads.
In Berlin, Werner shared the platform with Barry, and in Budapest, he was side by side with Karl. In both venues, the “Two Sons of the Holocaust” shared their testimonies, and their faith in Jesus. As these men spoke of their love for the Jewish people and their love for the Jewish Messiah Jesus, the statement rang out loud and clear. Jesus truly is the Prince of Peace. He has made us one; He has broken down the middle wall of partition. What a powerful and profound demonstration of the reconciling power of His cross.
In Berlin, the hall was nearly filled with 160 guests. Sadly, but not surprisingly, the German media ignored all our invitations for them to cover the special event. Even so, hearts were touched, especially when Werner, Barry, Leonid Dolganovsky (from our Essen branch) and Pastor Winfried Rudloff (who hosted the Berlin event) offered prayers for the salvation of Jews, Germans and Austrians.
In Budapest, our missionary Kata Tar reported, “The place we booked for the event was so packed that our ushers had to work hard to get more than 400 people seated. By the end people were sitting outside in the hall, or in the nursery, watching the event from a TV screen. The event was picked up by at least three media representatives (two Catholic and one secular that we know of). Some of our visitors were deeply touched. Some were offended. All heard the gospel.”