Friday, May 07, 2010

You Can Make a Difference

"When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and
healed their sick." - Matthew 14:14

Heinrich Himmler was the head of the Nazi SS and the mastermind of the Holocaust. During those blood-filled days between 1940 and 1945, the second most powerful man in Germany sent millions of Jews to their deaths. Himmler suffered from intolerable psychosomatic pains and the only person who could relieve these pains was a Doctor Felix Kersten, a Finn, who was a massage therapist.

During Himmler’s massage sessions, he would tell Dr. Kersten about the concentration camps. In 1942, Kersten intervened with Himmler to save Finish, Norwegian, and Dutch Jews. After moving to Stockholm in 1943, he continued to work on rescue and relief, securing freedom for several thousand more Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Polish, and French Jews.

In the closing days of the war, Kersten acted for Himmler in negotiating freedom for Jews with the Swedes and the Allies in Stockholm; he was instrumental in arranging a meeting in Germany on April 19, 1945 between Himmler and Norbert Masur, a Zionist German living in Sweden. One result of the meeting was the freeing of 7,000 women from Ravensbruk to a haven in Denmark and Sweden. The World Jewish Council credits him with saving 60,000 of Jews from the concentration camps.

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