Martin Niemöller was a Lutheran pastor in Germany when the Second World War began. He is immortalized for being the one who said, “First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”
Imagine that you’ve just been set free from an oppressive concentration camp. You’ve been ruthlessly worked and have seen friends and loved ones die in the process. How would you react to your freedom?
It’s a safe bet that Viktor Frankl responded differently.
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Dachau Concentration Camp, 1945. A place of unrelenting suffering and death. More than 25,000 “enemies of the state” lost their lives in this hellish place during the Holocaust. Every prisoner trapped behind the wire jumped at the chance of escape.
Every prisoner except Viktor Frankl.
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Where did you meet your spouse? (Fellas, I apologize if I put you on the spot.) Did you meet her at college? Did you find him at church? Elevator? Job interview? Married couples have met in some unique places over the years.
But no one has ever met their spouse in a stranger place than William Tippins.
In 1940, Langdon Gilkey, equipped only with a degree in philosophy from Harvard, went to China to teach English at Yenching University. Three short years later, he was taken prisoner when the Japanese Army came crashing into the city.
His confinement taught him a powerful lesson: fellow prisoners could be less merciful than the enemy.
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It takes some people longer than others to learn their lesson. Marcus Wayne Hunt is one of those people. For years, he’s been on the wrong side of the law, and as a result, he’s been arrested on multiple occasions.
But his latest arrest may have set a world record.
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On a snowy February night in 1940, William Miller’s speeding car careened off an icy road near his hometown of Harrisburg, PA. He was ejected through the windshield and landed in a snow bank, unconscious. Fortunately, a man named Warren Felty was driving by, found him, and took him to a hospital.
But this wouldn’t be the last time Warren Felty would pull William Miller’s unconscious body from the snow.
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Father Maximilian Kolbe was a Polish-born priest who affected the lives of thousands around the world through a ministry he founded within the Roman Catholic Church. But his real legacy centers on a selfless act for one man named Francis…at a place called Auschwitz.
Around 175 AD, a girl of noble descent named Perpetua was born at Carthage, which happened to be the epicenter of Christianity’s growth in northern Africa. Believing Christianity undermined Roman patriotism, Emperor Septimius Severus began a focused persecution of the Christians in that province.
Perpetua and a few friends were immediately arrested…but that was only the beginning of their troubles.