Can a Holocaust Survivor Use the Kindness Shown Him by a German Woman to create peace? Published on 28 December 2005:

The circumstances of my birth and survival as a Jewish infant in the midst of World War II Amsterdam have forever determined my belief in the saving capacity of interfaith dialogue and activities in the face of destruction and hatred. The first lesson I learned in life, from a Gestapo leader who had entered our home to round us up, was that the gates allowing a man to return to compassion are never fully locked.

 Watching me in the cradle he exclaimed “pity that this is a Jewish child,” and my father retorted with indomitable spirit, “he is lucky to be a Jewish child because whatever will happen to him, he will never grow up to be a son of murderers.” He shouted abuse but his eyes filled with tears and he left us to escape.

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The Soetendorp Institute


Jacob Soetendorp Institute for Human Values
Van Wijngaerdenstraat 21
2596 TW The Hague
The Netherlands