Holocaust Survivors Become Christian by Mike McManus

David Virtue DVirtue236 at AOL.COM
Sat May 5 02:19:29 EDT 2001

Ethics & Religion

by Mike McManus

     The picture of Marion Parkhurst, 89, appeared in an ad published
by TIME, Newsweek, U.S. News & World Report, New York Magazine, The New
Yorker, Talk and People.

     ''Some say you can't be Jewish and believe in Jesus. I disagree,''
the ad copy begins. ''But before you dismiss my belief, you should know
that in addition to being Jewish, I'm also a Holocaust Survivor...All I
ask is that you hear my story and those of several other remarkable
Jews who have suffered greatly and now truly believe in Jesus.''

     The ad, sponsored by Jews For Jesus, invites readers to order a
free copy of a Survivor Series video by calling 1-800-MESSIAH. In a
week, 10,000 did so.

     ABC, CBS, NBC and many cable channels were offered an ad, but
refused to air it.  Why? ''We have a policy of not accepting
advertising that proselytizes,'' CBS told me.
     So much for freedom of the press.

     I saw the powerful video, which tells of seven Jews who somehow
survived  concentration camps, were restored and ultimately transformed
by Jesus. But it only whet my curiosity to interview two of these
remarkable people.

     Marion Parkhurst confessed, ''My Jewish people do not understand.
They think I am a traitor.  Jews have been persecuted for 2000 years in
the name of Jesus.''

     She and her first husband were ''put on cattle trains, treated
horribly'' and sent to Bergen- Belsen in 1943. She was three months
pregnant. Later, very weakened, Marion gave birth, but the child died.

     The infamous Dr. Mengele, who conducted gruesome medical
experiments on Jews, came to her barrack.  An aide pointed to Marion,
saying ''This young woman had a baby who died.'' Mengele replied,
''Good.'' She said nothing but, ''I could have slapped him.''

     ''The next day, Mengele came back to my bed, and said, `Here, take
this. It might help you to survive.'  It was a bottle of vitamins.''
Daily she saw horses pulling cartloads of nude bodies.

     One day, SS guards shouted, ''Everybody take their stuff and start
walking. We will evacuate.''  Her husband was very sick and unable to
walk.  But people who fell were shot. For two miles, Marion practically
carried him with ''supernatural power.''  They got on a train that was
freed by U.S. troops.

     In 1947, the couple came to California and had another child. They
met Jewish Christians, who invited them to church. Marion refused. ''I
didn't want to hear anything. They said, `If you want to be heathen,
OK, but can we take your daughter to church?''' The 4-year-old came
home with little Bible verses, John 3:16, and stories to be read.

     ''I became curious, and asked, ''Where is this in the Bible?'' Her
friends gave her one, and she started reading. ''I saw the Messiah all
over the Old Testament. I do not know how people can not see it. When I
read Isaiah 53, I was convicted. `But he was pierced for our
transgressions, crushed for our iniquities. The punishment that brought
us peace was upon him.  By his wounds we are healed,''' she recited
from memory.

     The Anti-Defamation League labeled the Jews for Jesus campaign
''deceptive and offensive'' in a press release. Abraham Foxman, ADL
National Director, who is a Holocaust survivor, is quoted, ''By
emphasizing the Holocaust, Jews for Jesus is using the darkest chapter
in the history of Judaism - the persecution and annihilation of
European Jews - to attempt to mislead survivors and their children
about their history and faith.  It is impossible for a person who is
Jewish to worship Jesus.''

     Marion disagrees: ''All the Apostles were Jews. The New Testament
was mostly written by Jews. Only Luke was not. How can you be a Jew and
not believe in Jesus?''

     Dr. Vera Schlamm, who was also in Bergen-Belsen, came to America
at age 24. She entered college and became a pediatrician. A pastor who
brought his child to her, ''gently witnessed to me.''

     ''I started reading the Bible, beginning in Genesis 1.  I wanted
to know what God wanted for me since He had been so good to me. I read
Isaiah 7:14: `Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. The
virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son and will call
him Immanuel.'  I was struck by the word virgin. I thought it was a
Catholic belief. To find it in Isaiah was an eye- opener.

     ''The whole Chapter 53 had to be talking about Jesus.  I looked it
up in the temple, and the meaning was the same.''

     When she told her ailing father she believed in Jesus, he said,
''If you want me to die, go right ahead.''  He lived nine more years,
and eventually became a believer.

     END TXT Copyright   2001 Michael J. McManus

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