Archive of Reader Reactions & Anecdotes

Reader Comments on The Long Arm of Compassion

From Lee, 30 August 2008:

I just read your blog and enjoyed it very much — thanks!

From Ken, 30 August 2008:

I just finished reading the latest installment of your blog, “The Long Arm of Compassion”. When I saw you a couple of weeks ago you mentioned that your old chum was going to visit and I was touched by his story even though I never had the pleasure of meeting him. We all know the horror that came from WW II. The cruelty that man visited on his fellow man for no other reason than his religion and ethnic or national background. We know of the millions of people who died in that conflict from Africa to Asia and from the U.S. to Europe.

But this very personal story tells of a man who said “NO” to this horror. That he decided to spare a life rather than take a life. In his way he said “I am tired of this crap and my killing this man on the ground in front of me will not positively effect the outcome of the war.” Perhaps in that moment that man thought of himself more as a man than a German.

Maybe, just maybe there is hope for this world. When a man has the courage to say no to his leaders and his government and do what he thinks is right. That young German was a real mensch and his failure to carry out his duty changed history perhaps not for the world but for a number of Americans three thousand miles away to whom your friend was able to return. Maybe there are a few more people like that young German in this world who will yet think of others before they think of themselves. I hope that young German had a good and long life; he sure earned it.

Regards, Ken

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Reply from Jack: Ja, Kumpel. Du kannst das wieder sagen!

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