AUSCHWITZ ON PURIM
by Dan Stolebarger
When we turned the corner and began to make our way to ‘The Fountain of Tears’ I had my first glimpse …. before turning to go into the driveway, straight ahead, I saw the opening for the train that went into the Death Camp of Birkenau. This snapshot has been etched and seared into my memory. It was frigid, dark and gloomy and sometimes I wonder if the sun ever shines on Auschwitz? I wonder, how does one ever really prepare for a visit to this site?
As we entered the foyer of The Fountain of Tears, I soon realized that this was to be one of those ‘divine appointments.’ We soon met Mark and Cathy Warwick, who were to be our hosts since Rick and Dafna Wieneke were not in country. This couple not only did an excellent job sharing about the Fountain but also shared with us their vision of a Prayer Room which, in my opinion, completes the mission of The Fountain of Tears. We saw the foundation of this yet-to-be-built House of Prayer with all the bricks on top of the concrete slab. Both these places butt up against the Auschwitz / Birkenau property! Only God could provide this kind of location for a ministry that calls Believers to REMEMBER and to NEVER FORGET!
The new setting of The Fountain of Tears (not yet opened to the public) is breathtaking and is a MUST STOP for all groups (Israeli or Christian) who are visiting Auschwitz / Birkenau. Following our hour or so visit we made our way to the gates of Auschwitz; did I mention yet that our visit was to be on the Feast day of Purim (again, I am sure NO COINCIDENCE!).
The visit to Auschwitz is about 2-3 hours and is an experience that I believe ALL BELIEVERS need to experience. Following your time in Auschwitz you drive less than 5 minutes and enter the death camp of Birkenau. To walk this camp from one end to another takes about an hour.
When our group entered through the opening of Auschwitz und the cast iron banner with the phrase (btw it’s a LIE) “Work Makes You Free,” I noticed that it was dark, frigid and gloomy. I believe this emotion stays with you regardless of whether the sun ever shines in Auschwitz! The silent screams of the victims stay with you throughout your visit and beyond! I am reminded of David’s cursing of Gilboa after the death of Saul and his good friend Jonathan:
“O mountains of Gilboa, may there be no dew or rain on you, nor fields of grain offerings! For it was there that the shield of warriors was defiled;” 2 Samuel 1
As we left I was reminded of Purim, the story of a young girl and her godly uncle who saved Israel for another Holocaust…how Israel emerged in that day victorious over the evil Haman. I sometimes wonder if God intends His Body to be the modern day Esther, to intercede for His beloved Israel and to be a part of the final restoration of the Apple of His Eye. The horrors of ‘The Church’s’ overall silence during the Holocaust is condemning but the LIGHTS of the remnant, the Righteous Among the Gentiles, serves to encourage us all to be prepared for the coming days that biblically promise to once again be dark times!
Will we utter those words: “For such a time as this?”
Holy Ground Explorations will be offering extensions to Poland in the months and years to come. We hope you will not only visit the Land where it all Began (ISRAEL) but also plan on extending and joining us in Auschwitz / Birkenau, The Fountain of Tears, The House of Prayer, as well as time in Krakow and Warsaw!