In France in 1943, a crowd of men, women and children huddled together at the train station. Dressed for a long journey and standing with their bags at their sides, they spoke in low tones. Armed men in the grim uniform of the SS, the feared wing of the Nazi army, surrounded the travelers.
The people shivering on the platform were not criminals. They were Jews, French Jews who had been hauled from their homes by the occupying soldiers and French Nazi sympathizers. The non-Jewish French watched these events unfold with increasing concern. After all, these people were neighbors and friends. The group included the watchmaker and his family, the lad who sold newspapers, the old lady who made beautiful quilts. Now they were being “relocated.”
The plumes of smoke could be seen even before the train was heard. The townspeople cast a nervous eye toward the train platform as the black, soot-belching locomotive ground to a halt. Armed guards herded the Jews into the train cars. They went cooperatively, putting up no resistance. Concerned observers wondered why this was taking place; but they told themselves that things would be fine, that there was no need to worry about these friends and neighbors. They were in good hands.
How could they believe that?
Because neatly printed in French on the door of every boxcar was the reassuring logo “Charitable Transport Company.”
Hot Illustrations for Youth Talks by Wayne Rice. Zondervan, 1994, Page 99-100.
Topics Illustrated Include:
World War II
(Resource cataloged by David R Smith)