“ IS SUICIDE A SIN?”
' ■ 'H IS was the question asked by a -*• Christian Jew in Vienna just a day or two after the Hitler hordes of savagery had swooped down upon a helpless population of Jews in that “ Putsch” by which Hitler accomplished his coup d’ etat in swift seizure of Austria. Our correspondent wrote us of agonies which we in our land of plenty know little about. Here are a few sentences:
reports of conditions that seem almost un believable in our day of boasted culture and civilization. Here is just one sample of Nazi cruelty, the victim being the one whose photograph appears on this page. One of our workers in Paris writes the story: We have on hand Rabbi F., 84 years ' old, and his daughter Ella, 28 years old, both refugees from Germany. I wonder if
died recently. In the beginning of Hitler ism the F. family was in Berlin and then horrible persecutions began. The Rabbi and Ella had dreadful wounds and injur ies from Nazis who came to their home. Both were literally thrown out (see this photo of the Rabbi after the wounds); Ella had bullet from revolver in one arm. The Nazis sacked the house, took all the money, and after that, the house was definitely taken by the Nazis.
“Today an astronom er, a great scholar whom I myself was deemed worthy to lead to the Lord, came to me to ask whether suicide was under all circumstances a sin. It is absolutely impossible for him to find work. Formerly the family was rich; now their last savings are gone. The Hebrew Christian writers who have now lost every possibility to have their works published are living in utmost misery. Many a night I cannot sleep when I think of the great numbers of those who wait to be supported by us.” The roadways out of Vienna were choked with Jewish men, women, and children, packs on backs, hurrying to escape from an Austria gone mad with Nazi hate for the Jew. Suddenly all frontiers were closed, and these poor Jews only found that they must return to whatever might await them. The trains were crowded with the better class Jews, who had gathered together what possessions they could, and were rushing likewise to escape. At every frontier the trains were stopped, every Jew was dragged out, searched down to the skin, and stripped of every possession he had. The Nazis boasted that they had thus collected over twenty million shillings! They then loosed these hapless Jews and told them they might go where they would!
After those awful times they left Germany, and the Rabbi and Ella have been in Paris for two years, where it is not only tragic misery, but now desperate illness of Ella who has a cancer and cannot live more than a few months. A surgeon, a friend of ours, hoped to delay the illness for a while with an operation, but Ella can’t accept to leave her father so old and ill himself, and we did not succeed in persuading her to have this operation. (I will take her every week in hospital for “ Rayons X .” ) I am afraid her father will lose her before his own death. They live both in the same
poor hotel bedroom, have nothing to eat, and we have in our hearts the deep desire to help them until the end of their life on the earth, with our love, prayers, and moral and material relief. We would need a few extra hundred francs a month to give them food, medi cines, and pay a part of the rent. The only help they receive is 100 francs per month (less than $4.00) from the Jewish Com mittee in Paris for German refugees. As they are “ Insoluble cases” nobody wants to take care of them on their suffering path. Child of God, does not your heart bleed as you read these reports? Can you not say with Jeremiah of old, “ Oh that my head were rivers of water, that I might weep for Jerusalem” ? Our Mr. Cohn hopes, the Lord willing, to leeve early in June, for a journey of mercy to these lands of living torture. W e hope to sup ply him with many thousands of dollars that he may distribute, through our trusted Missionary agents, among the most desperate cases of poverty and suffering in the distress areas of Central Europe. W ill you pray that his going may be fruitful, that his journey may be watched over by Him who is still Israel's Keeper and Israel's Shep herd? And may we count upon your prayerful fellowship in such a time as this? The Chosen People, our monthly publication, is sent to all supporting friends.
RABBI F., A VICTIM OF NAZI JEW-HATE you could help us in this particularly tragic case? Rabbi F. was many years in New York and later on in Germany. He was of the sect Chassidim (the Pious). He is married, had several children: 3 sons who fell in the war, the other one is still living (refugee in Austria), and one daughter Ella who lives with him in Paris. His wife, who was a refugee inAustria with the son,
Suicides by wholesale are reported daily. So horrible is the agony facing some of these harassed Jews, that death seems to them the only way out. From our Branch in Paris, where the Lord is allowing us to carry on a tender ministry of Christian love to some 25,000 pitifully desperate Jewish refugees from Nazi land, there come other heartbreaking American Board of Missions to the Jews, Inc. 31 Throop Avenue, Brooklyn, N. Y.
Yes, I want to help in your Christ ministry o f love to Israel. I enclose
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