History tells the story of men and women who make difficult choices, for both good and evil, which directly affects the lives of those around them. Often history repeats the same story, and yet we fail to recognize the patterns except after the harsh consequences of our passivity and inattention.
Here is real history, of men making choices that save and shatter uncounted human souls.
The truth about the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp was the best-kept secret of the Nazi architects of the Final Solution, guarded from discovery by more than 2,000 SS personnel, 200 vicious dogs, two lines of electrified fences, and a terrorised, fearful Polish population... Rudolf Vrba, was the most prominent escapee [from Auschwitz]. Among attempts to break down the wall of silence around the Auschwitz secrets, historians have no doubt that the escape of Vrba and his fellow prisoner, Alfred Wetzler, was by far the most important.
After a perilous 11 days of walking and hiding, the escapees made it back to their native country, Slovakia. Almost at once, they managed to establish contact with the leaders of the remainder of the Jewish community. For three days Vrba and Wetzler conveyed in detail to the members of the Jewish Council the geographical plan of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the specifics of the Germans' method of mass murder - tattooing, gassing, and cremation - and the course of events they had witnessed at the camp.
The Vrba-Wetzler report had an immediate impact. The publication of portions of the report in the Swiss press in the final days of June 1944, and by the western allies shortly afterwards, produced a spontaneous international denunciation, which led to protests from the Pope, the US secretary of state, Cordell Hull, the British foreign secretary, Anthony Eden, the International Red Cross, and the King of Sweden.
Let's move forward to yesterday, December 29, 2010 and this report based on evidence provided by EveryOne, an Italian based human rights organization.
It has been known for some time that the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas is operating in the Egyptian Sinai. But Israel is not the only victim of this development. African migrants and refugees seeking asylum in Israel have reportedly been captured and grossly ill treated by the Palestinian militants.
The Italian-based human rights organization EveryOne reported at the weekend that it had petitioned the Egyptian government to intervene and save the lives of 250 Eritrean refugees who were taken by Hamas operatives in Sinai earlier this month.
The Eritreans were reportedly making their way to Israel when they came across Hamas men in the desert. The Palestinians offered to smuggle them into Israel for a payment of $2,000, but instead took them to a holding facility outside the Sinai-Gaza border town of Rafah.
The Africans have been kept in abysmal conditions. What's worse, EveryOne reported that eight of the migrants were murdered and four others disappeared. All of them are believed to be victims of organ harvesting and trafficking. About 100 of the Africans have been moved to another facility purportedly in preparation to have their organs harvested, too.
A statement released by EveryOne said that the women and children among the African captives are regularly beaten and raped, and many are contemplating suicide.
In this iPad era, we have a story of horrific barbarity that would make Dr. Mengele feel proud. So what is our responsibility, as a nation, as an individual? What would Rudolf Vrba and the 2 million ghostly souls of Auschwitz tell us to do?
234 year ago Our Founders wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." Have we learned from history, that today, all men include nomadic Africans refuges?
I believe that each of us is God's appointed guardian for ensuring that a righteous humanity radiates from this small blue- green planet. We cannot say we didn't know, we must able to tell our children, and ourselves we did what we needed to do.