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AN EXAMPLE FOR PEACE - Act of defiance to Nazis still reverberates today

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Sapphire Blue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-08-07 02:44 PM
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AN EXAMPLE FOR PEACE - Act of defiance to Nazis still reverberates today
(Also posted in GD: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph... )

AN EXAMPLE FOR PEACE

Act of defiance to Nazis still reverberates today
Austrian a hero to antiwar movement
August 8, 2007
BY DAVID CRUMM


Jgersttter is to be beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in October.

The name of an obscure Austrian peasant, whose friends warned him that he was throwing his life away in 1943 in a worthless effort to defy the Nazis, will echo in the streets of Detroit on Thursday as a patron saint of the contemporary antiwar movement.

Franz Jgersttter isn't officially recognized as a saint by the Vatican yet, though he is scheduled for beatification by Pope Benedict XVI in October. That is one step away from canonization.

Thousands of peace activists around the world aren't waiting on the pope. They already regard him as a saint for his heroic refusal to fight in the German army during World War II, a decision that led to his beheading by the Nazis in Berlin.

"Thursday is the day of his martyrdom on Aug. 9, 1943, so we're holding this prayer service in his memory in the street outside the Archdiocese of Detroit chancery building," said the Rev. Bill Wylie-Kellermann, a Detroit United Methodist pastor and author who is nationally known as a peace activist.

"He pointed out to all of us what the gospel really says about our moral responsibility in the face of war, and we're remembering him because we're trying to encourage people to resist the current war," Wylie-Kellermann said.

(snip)

"Gordon's biography of him, 'In Solitary Witness,' influenced a lot of people after the book came out in 1964," Hovey said. "It's true that this was one of the books Daniel Ellsberg was reading that influenced him to release the Pentagon Papers in 1971."

Wylie-Kellermann said he thinks that's the most powerful part of the story: This link between a seemingly insignificant act of defiance by a peasant and Ellsberg's fateful decision to expose U.S. Defense Department documents about American failures in Vietnam.

"It's a great lesson: an Austrian peasant dies in complete obscurity -- a story that literally should have been a dead end in history -- but his story is retold and winds up helping to end the war in Vietnam," Wylie-Kellermann said. "Zahn's book tells the story so well, because he was able to interview directly many of the people who knew Jgersttter."


Continued @ http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/2007080...



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Critters2 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-11-07 12:33 PM
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1. Franz Jagerstatter has been a hero of mine for years.
I read his biography in college and have never forgotten his peace witness. Thank you.
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shenmue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-16-07 10:14 AM
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2. Very moving. Thank you.
:loveya:

:patriot:
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-03-08 10:28 PM
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3. Other less known examples of peaceful resistance to the Nazis
The few Germans who defied Nazi orders to boycott Jewish-owned businesses. One of them was Dietrich Bonhoeffer's mother.

Friedrich von Bodelschwingh, who started out sympathetic to the Nazis but changed when he realized their intention to kill people with disabilities:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Friedrich_von_Bodelschwing...
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