As World War II came to a close, the Allies began finding and liberating the infamous concentration camps. When the soldiers of the U.S. 4th Armored Division entered the Ohrdruf camp, they discovered piles of bodies, some covered with lime, and others partially incinerated on pyres.
General Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, visited the camp with Generals George Patton and Omar Bradley. Eisenhower later cabled General George C. Marshall, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, describing what he saw:
“In one room, where they were piled up twenty or thirty naked men, killed by starvation, George Patton would not even enter. He said that he would get sick if he did so. I made the visit deliberately, in order to be in a position to give first-hand evidence of these things if ever, in the future, there develops a tendency to charge these allegations merely to ‘propaganda.'”
Anticipating a time when Nazi atrocities might be denied, Eisenhower ordered the filming and photographing of camps as they were liberated. The U.S. Army Signal Corps recorded approximately 80,000 feet of film and thousands of still photographs. We can appreciate the wisdom of this decision as there are still Holocaust deniers today.
We must carry on the vision of General Eisenhower and make a pledge first that we will never forget, and second that this kind of horrible atrocity must never happen again.
As we commemorate the Jewish men and women who lost their lives in the Holocaust, we remember the founding of the Feast of Purim after an earlier time of persecution:
Mordecai wrote these things and sent letters to all the Jews … to establish among them that they should celebrate yearly the fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month of Adar, as the days on which the Jews had rest from their enemies, as the month which was turned from sorrow to joy for them … (Esther 9:20-22).
Just as God redeemed Israel from the threat of Haman in the book of Esther and returned the Jews to their ancient homeland of Israel after the Holocaust, my prayer is that no matter what you may be going through today, that your Heavenly Father will give you beauty for ashes and joy in place of your mourning.
Barbara and I are praying today that God will fill you with hope and peace as you follow Him.
God bless you,
David Cerullo is the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Inspiration Ministries, located in Indian Land, South Carolina — a ministry dedicated to impacting people for Christ worldwide through media since 1990. David took a less traditional approach to ministry, graduating from Oral Roberts University with a degree in business administration and management. He has authored more than 15 different books and has been honored with an honorary Doctor of Ministry degree. He has been married to his wife Barbara for more than 40 years, and together they have two adult children and five grandchildren.