Thursday, January 1, 2015

Christ in Dachau

Dear Friends,
As many of you know I've been researching the period of WWI and WWII in Germany for a book I'm calling OTTO.  I've recently picked up CHRIST IN DACHAU  by Rev. John M. Lenz.  Lenz is a Catholic priest writing about his 6 years in Dachau concentration camp.  He maintains the only prisoners hated worse than the Jews were Catholic Priests.  He would also maintain that Christ was with him and others the whole time.  Those who were able to keep their faith, could pray and sing to honor God despite the horrendous conditions and brutal work details.  From the Introduction:
     "The important think to remember, however, is that they were dealt with as a class apart, as a particular menace to the Nazi ideology, and therefore, that their particular story, their reaction to the whole struggle, is doubly significant-firstly because they were priest of God, professional champions of  Christ's Church, and secondly because their gaolers recognized in them the representatives of the most powerful enemy of Nazism.
And, from the Author's Forward:
     "What we priests were forced to endure under the Nazi regime, especially in Dachau concentration camp, is no more than a cup filled from the vast sea of human suffering in the world today.  It is not this suffering as such which is important.  The important thing is to show those who have crosses of their own to bear in life just what the grace of God can do for those who follow faithfully in the footsteps of Christ the Crucified....
     "Dachau is a terrible warning to us all, not only for today but for tomorrow.  God alone knows how real and present the lessons of this book may yet be for us...For it is only possible to profit from the bitter lessons of the past if these events in the history of the world are viewed with the eyes of true Christian faith....
     "This book is not a novel, but a piece of contemporary evidence, it bears witness to an encounter with  Christ, to a recognition of Christ at a time of the bitterest suffering, the fiercest combat with the forces of evil.  It is an inspiring story of priestly devotion and heroism at a time when the Church of God was subjected to danger and persecution..."  Stay tuned for more!!!