Monday, March 27, 2006

In Our Hearts, We Were Giants

I saw a small portion of a program on the History Channel last night. It was about a family of dwarves that were sent to Auschwitz during WWII and experimented on by Josef Mengele for nine months. Amazingly, the family of 12 (seven of whom were little people) as well as ten other friends and neighbors (who pretended to be related) were all spared and survived the Holocaust. The Ovitz family is the only family to escape the SS killing complex completely intact.

Perla Ovitz, one of the seven siblings, said: 'If I ever questioned why I was born a dwarf, my answer must be that my handicap was God's way of keeping me alive.'

After the family left Auschwitz, they relocated to Haifa, Israel where they resumed the music and comedy stage show that they performed in before the war. They achieved much fame and success and all lived to ripe old ages.

I am inspired by this story, not only because it shows courage and strength but also because of the irony. Hitler was a powerful man and many strong men died as his hand. It is ironic to me that the weak, little ones are who survived. We hear a lot about "survival of the fittest" and about disabled people being "weak." And yet, it was because of the Orvitz's physical weakness that spared their lives and gave them the strength after the war to go on with fruitful lives, rather than sinking into a realm of defeat, despair and self-pity.

Unlike Job and the Orvitz siblings, not many of us with disabilities will ever get a clear and direct answer from the mouth of God as to why He made us the way that He did. But, like Perla Orvitz, we can all say that God had intentional purposes of love and mercy behind why He chose to make us the way that he did.

Heaven forbid that God ever have to answer our persistent grumblings and "why God's?" with an answer as painfully specific as the Holocaust. Maybe we should just have faith that He knows what He is up to and not risk having to be told all of the answers.

If you are interested in learning more about the Orvitz family, click here.

Here are some other links as well:

Doctor Death and the Seven Dwarfs
The Seven Dwarfs of Auschwitz

Here is an Amazon link to the biography written about the Ovitz family.

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Blogger Noel said...

from Talitha

again I say wow.
and they survived!
what a story!


9:59 AM  
Blogger Sherryl said...

I was debating watching that show on the History Channel because of the sickness I feel in my gut anytime Nazi Germany is discussed. But your beautiful post has encouraged me to watch it! I really like that you included the quotes and references to God. Great post!

9:38 AM  

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