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The Wind Blows Where It Wishes … John 3:8
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May 2015

The Wind Blows Where It Wishes … John 3:8


Dear Friends,

How shall we share our daily lives with you since we arrived here in Germany—in the Eifel? Looking back over the past two months we think of Jesus’ words, “The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes.” (John 3:8)

What are the unseen influences on the happenings we have experienced? What is God’s part? What portion belongs to the prayers of his children? And then, what are the results of our own responses? A mystery.


The Link between Bonn and Chelmno Poland

One event stands out among all our adventures—the link between Bonn and Chelmno, Poland.  Unexpectedly, we received an invitation to take part in the Marsch des Lebens (March of Life) in Bonn on May 3. Marches of Life have been taking place in Germany and beyond since 2007 as a symbol of repentance for the Death Marches from concentration camps in the east. Emaciated prisoners were driven west as the Red Army advanced and WWII was ending. The majority died—starving, freezing, bludgeoned, shot.

Learn more about Marsch des Lebens (March of Life).
The website of Marsch des Lebens describes them this way: “Memorial and reconciliation marches at historic locations of the Holocaust in Europe. Descendants of Nazi perpetrators finding words their fathers and grandparents could not find. A clear symbol for Israel and against modern anti-semitism.” 


Bonn, May 3, 2015
The rain was heavy throughout the 3-hour march, beginning at the old Jewish cemetery, past Jewish landmarks in the city and ending in front of the Alte Rathaus (old town hall). 
The Rathaus 
Standing on a circle of cobblestones, we saw embedded among them small brass rectangles like book spines, imprinted with book titles and author’s names, commemorating the burning of books before the Rathaus on May 10, 1933. It had been orchestrated by the newly elected Nazi party. Many of the selected authors were Jewish.

As a Holocaust survivor I had been asked to share. The place, Bonn, and the date, May 3, were significant. I was born in Bonn on February 18, 1932. On May 3, 1942, my parents, Amalie and Markus Zack, died in Chelmno, Poland. 

Five years earlier, on May 3, 2010, George and I were in Chelmno with eight friends.
According to Jewish custom, the ten of us prayed the Kaddish in English next to the incinerator on the anniversary of my parents’ death. It was raining. Jutta from Germany said, “Heaven is weeping.”

In Bonn, on May 3, 2015, I read the paragraphs describing our time in Chelmno from Meine Krone in der Asche, standing in the circle where Jewish books were burned in 1933. It was raining. I read the Kaddish in German. (click here for my speech in English.)


Markus Demmer

A tall man, a business man from Tübingen, quietly walked to the microphone. Markus Demmer faced the 100 or so people, young and old, gathered close under their umbrellas. He spoke softly but with intensity. 

“My grandfather was a policeman, a Nazi, stationed in Chelmno at the time your parents, Hanna, were gassed in that evil place. I can give the guilt that lays on our land a face. I can only stand here and say the words my grandfather never spoke.” He turned to me and asked for forgiveness. 

I felt myself rising from my seat. I approached him. We embraced. I forgave him. Both of us were overwhelmed by the supernatural power of Jesus in forgiveness, cleansing and love.
Video recording of Markus' words in German.
Please continue in prayer for the days from now until June 17 when we return to Phoenix. Pray that the breath of the Spirit will blow:

1 - During the weekend of May 29-31 as we welcome Markus and his wife Nicole, with Alexander who organized the Marsch des Lebens in Bonn, as they come to spend the weekend with us in Gemünd.

2 - During the process of meeting personally with Eifel friends to say goodbye.

3 - Watering the seed sown over the last weeks.


One in Jesus’ love.

With Conny, the owner of Cafe Harmonie in our Eifel village of Dahlem, 
where Hanna read from her book to a full house.

 
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