One of the most precious memories I have of this year is from our visit to Hauke, our former Time for God volunteer, and his family in Lower Saxony during the late summer.
One of the many excursions planned for us was to the town of Hamelin, famous for its Pied
Piper. We followed a modern day,
story-telling Piper around the city and at one point in the tour Hauke’s father
pulled me back to show me some brass squares embedded in the cobbled streets
outside the ancient houses. He told me,
in a quiet, dignified and non-sentimental way, that these brass squares
represented the Jewish families who once occupied the adjacent houses. Families which had been taken to a
concentration camp and eventually murdered in World War Two. He said these brass squares of remembrance
were now common throughout Germany, marking the homes of Jews who lost their
lives in the Holocaust. When he finished
speaking, when no more words were necessary between us, he took my arm and I
patted him on the back. We both knew we had spoken of deep things.
Hauke’s grandparents and parents have now spent over sixty years between them
seeking to build friendship and mutual respect between our two nations – a
process that continued throughout 2017 – 18 with Hauke’s time with us here at
In Hamelin we ‘remembered together’ – such acts of friendship are precious beyond
words, and pray God, make our world a more Christ-like place.
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