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August 04, 1989 - Image 27

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1989-08-04

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ROLEX

those dark years when Jewish
innocence was hunted down
and ferried off to the
crematoria. Who could use
rules and regulations to turn
down this woman who seeks
sanctuary for her husband,
when she broke so many
edicts to offer refuge to Jews?
Irene has a claim on us all.
To the glory of the Jewish
Homes for the Aging, the ad-
missions rules were cir-
cumvented and Bill Opdyke,
age 80, is now sheltered and
lovingly cared for in the
Homes' special unit for people
afflicted by Alzheimer's and
similar ailments. Bill Opdyke
lives safely among the
relatives of the Jewish people,
12 of whom his wife saved.
"Poetic justice- is defined as
an "ideal administration of
recompense, as in the works of
imagination." The Opdyke-
Jewish Homes affair is a
single story of a work that is
not the product of imagina-
tion. It is a small instance of
poetic justice in a real world in
which goodness is too rarely
acknowledged and supported.
The Christian rescuers
whom we have discovered
through the testimony of
Jewish survivors did not and
do not seek rewards. They are
mostly modest people who see
nothing extraordinary about
their altruism. Typically they
ask the inquirer, "What else
could be done?"
The rescuers are no
supermen or superwomen.
They are ordinary people who,
in crisis, have done extraor-
dinary things. They managed
to transcend their own circle
of faith and even the pre-
judices of their environment to
save Jews in the name of the
Creator who transcends all
faith, races and peoples.
In a society riven by
cynicism, there is a need to
tell their story. The children
in our post-Holocaust society
need heroes of moral courage
to emulate.
The phenomenon of Chris-
tian rescuers of Jews during
the Holocaust is a paradigm of
attitude and behavior that
may serve these days as a
moral imperative for all
religions and races and na-
tions imprisoned in adver-
sarial isolation.
There is goodness in the
world and it must be iden-
tified, publicized and ap-
preciated. lb extend our sup-
port to those who have shown
how to leap over the barriers
of provincialism is to exercise
a modest form of poetic justice.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

27

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