The following is an excerpt from a speech given by Holocaust survivor Rena Finder:
In the very first few months of the German occupation, about 15,000 (Jews) were evacuated — they were sent away. Elderly people were taken away. Young children were taken away. Families were separated. No matter how much people begged — and how much people cried — and how much people asked for mercy. There was none coming from any of the Nazis.
There was always also the problem with the bystander. There was always the problem of the indifference of our neighbors. Our neighbors, who, when our businesses were taken away, did not ask where the people were going. When the Jewish children could not come to school and hundreds of desks were empty, our neighbors did not ask where we went. And when the time came and we had to leave our homes and walk to the ghetto, again our neighbors did not ask where we were going. Everybody was silent. We felt abandoned. We knew nobody cared. We knew that there was no place that we could get help from.
To Oskar Shindler, we were people. Oskar Shindler was arrested twice. Because Oskar Schindler was using his own money and his own resources. The power of Oskar Schindler, the power of one person, cannot be dismissed.
The problem of the bystander is still very much alive today. All followers of GOD have been given the charge to lead their neighbors away from death but rather toward the life that is found in Christ. How many disciples are simply bystanders? How many see their neighbors being led away to death from day to day, yet remain silent? Too many don’t ask where their neighbors are going. Too many don’t ask for a name. For a prayer. For a study of GOD. Too many remain silent bystanders. Don’t be one of them.