Twice Rescued Child
Over six million Jews were systematically annihilated in the Holocaust. It’s a number that’s hard for us to wrap our minds around. Nearly eighty years after World War II, horror and sorrow grips our hearts. We’ve heard stories of families torn apart, mass graves, and ash from the chimneys that fell like snow. Yet so many individual lives, individual stories are lost in the pages of time.
Of the six million Jewish people killed during the war, 1.2 million were Jewish children.
Little ones who ran barefoot through summer grass, laughed and played during school recess, and snuggled next to fathers and mothers, listening to stories. At the start of the war, as Hitler’s troops invaded country after country, few guessed the heartache to come. Even fewer guessed what was in store for the children.
Yet some did, and a few stepped forward to help.
For 669 children, one man’s foresight and quick action made all the difference. Nicholas Winton—subsequently Sir Nicholas Winton—an English stockbroker, heard about the plight of Czech children trapped behind the border and in need of sponsors and transportation to the United Kingdom.
Preparing for a ski trip, he instead traveled to Prague at the request of a friend. Once there Nicholas recognized the advancing danger. At the time Hitler’s troops had already occupied the Sudetenland, and the German leader had his sights set on all of Czechoslovakia.
What would happen to the Jewish children caught up in Hitler’s grasp?
Stories and rumors were already leaking out concerning the treatment of Jews in Germany and annexed Austria. Discovering children in need of rescue, Nicholas Winton took quick action. Children condemned to die found life, found families, and some also found saving grace along the way. Today there are over 5,000 descendants of these rescued children around the world.
Twice Rescued Child ~A Story of Hope
Aged eight, Thomas Graumann excitedly boarded a train in Prague, Czechoslovakia, to embark on what he believed was a three-month holiday. “Go to Britain, learn English, and when the Germans leave, you can come home again,’ his mother assured him. Thomas carried two suitcases and a bag of food. At the time he knew his country had been taken over by the Germans and now was under Nazi control. That was the last he would see of his mother and most of his Jewish family, who died in concentration camps.
This was Thomas’ first rescue, aboard what became known as the Kindertransport.
His second came a year later when an evangelist from the Scottish village he was taken to for safety shared the good news of Jesus Christ with him. Saying a prayer on bent knee, Thomas’ soul was rescued, and he soon dedicated himself to missionary service, which he fulfilled as an adult in the Philippines, eventually moving to the U.S.
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Twice Rescued Child ~ A Story of Hope
Last year I was able to sit down with Thomas and hear first hand about what he experienced during that tumultuous time in history. It was one of the most memorable moments of my life.
I always thank God for how He moves and allows me to experience so many amazing things. This interview is one of them!
If you’ve ever wondered about this story here’s the chance to hear first hand what God can do with our obedience. Watch this video.