Faith In Spite Of All
A Rabbi's Story
by Rabbi Juda Glasner
The author gratefully acknowledges the encouragement he received from:
|Rabbi Miklos Hauer|
|Americanism Educational League|
|Christians and Jews For Law and Morality|
|Stanley Diller||Ted Orden|
|George Gluck||Romy and Flora Rosman|
|Ernest Hancz||Maxine Waltz Ross|
|Sol Kest||Blanca Roven|
|Louis Kesten||Herman Schwartz|
|Flossy Landow||David and Fela Shapell|
|Alex Lichtig||Joe Simon|
|Al Loevinger||Aron Spiegel|
|Armin Mandel||Dan Srulovics|
|Sam Menlo||Ray Swidler|
|Marion Miller||Tov Tobias|
|Eugene Nasch||E. Wintner|
|Julius Nasch||Gary Wintner|
They all share my belief that this book will contribute to the understanding of our gravest problem, namely the crisis of Faith in our time.
May the Almighty bestow His blessing on them for their noble deeds.
This is the story of Rabbi Juda Glasner, and as you read, you will come to understand whence came the courage and strength to survive. It came from the author's unwavering faith in God, to whom he has devoted his life in faithful servitude.
I have never known a man of such
rare human qualities as are demonstrated by Rabbi Juda Glasner. I am proud
and grateful and spiritually uplifted to have him as my friend.
|HARRY VON ZELL|
|March 27, 1974|
The author of this book, survivor of both the Nazi and the Communist oppression, has increasingly felt that he had to tell the story of how the above command has not been heeded or what has not happened which could have prevented the terrible castastrophe of the extermination of millions of Jews. Sustained by his unshakeable faith in God in times of the greatest test of human will, he wishes to bear testimony to the acts of omission which permitted Hitler to carry out his devilish plans in Europe. He has been an eyewitness to the tragedy of the Jews in Hungary, and the book will address itself especially to this chapter of the immensely sad history of World War II.
The occupation of Hungary by Nazi Germany occurred in March, 1944. At that time the final defeat of the Hitlerian hordes had become a foregone conclusion. In spite of, or perhaps because of this fact, the occupiers, aided by the too willing Hungarian authorities, carried out their plan for extermination of the Jewish population of Hungary with systematic cruelty. Pressed by time, they acted with greater brutality and in greater haste than in any other territory temporarily under Hitler's thumb.
A review of the events that took place at that time will show that there were opportunities which, had they been seized by those in a position to help, could have allowed for the rescue of a large number or maybe all of the unfortunate victims of the Nazis in Hungary. Today we know whatever was done in that direction was too little and came too late.
The German Pastor Niemoeller, who will always be remembered for his courageous stand against Hitler, summarized the stand-off attitude of the outside world which caused the Hungarian tragedy in this statement: "When Communists were jailed, I was not a Communist. When Jews were jailed, I was not a Jew. When union members were jailed, I was not a union member, and when Catholics were jailed, I was not a Catholic. But when I was jailed, it was too late to do anything about it." His statement repeats the old maxim that whoever remains indifferent to the loss of freedom by anyone, risks the forfeiture of his own freedom, and ultimately is bound to pay very dearly for his apathy. George Bernard Shaw said the same thing in other words: "The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them."
The author's personal story integrates into the great collective tragedy of the time. The Nazi danger has now passed, but to tell the truth without bias and without fear, is never without danger. To illustrate this let me refer to the testimony of the Rev. Richard Wurmbrand, a crusader for religious revival in the countries of official atheism and a refugee from Communist prisons, made before a United States Senate Committee. Before leaving Rumania, the Communists told him: "You now are leaving this country but be careful of how you behave abroad. You may preach Christianity, but beware of attacking us. If you speak against Communism, bear in mind that for a mere one thousand dollars it is easy to find someone ready to liquidate you. We are playing with our cards on the table. Remember, in prison you met people we had brought back even from the West."
The faith that sustained me in past tribulations prompts me to proclaim the urgent need for a restoration of the belief in a Divine Being. Only such a belief will give us the moral strength to withstand the otherwise unbearable pressure of our frantic times. This needs to be proclaimed because, unfortunately, millions have lost this belief or never had it; without it they are drifting in a world without directions and without apparent aim, unable ever to quench their thirst for meaning. It is like the story of a lady who reprimanded her servant for leaving dust on the furniture. The servant retorted, "If you will kindly wipe your eyeglasses you will see that there is not a speck of dust anywhere."
Those who do not see the beauty and the glory of faith look at the world through grimy glasses that make everything appear dim to them.
It is my ardent wish that this book will help readers to rekindle the sparks of their faith. However, I do not want to sound like the girl who declared to her mother that she was going to draw a picture of God.
"No one knows what God looks like," the mother objected.
The child replied, "They will after I have finished my picture."