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|He Did What He Could
|Thursday, January 24, 2019|
He sniffed the winds and smelled trouble.
When Georges Loinger heard Hitler on the radio, he shuddered. When he saw Hitler’s book in the store, he gasped. And began to prepare.
In the late 1930s, Loinger, an engineer by background, became a physical education teacher with the intention of “preparing and training Jewish youth for the ordeal that awaited” (UK Times). When the Nazis invaded France in 1940, Loinger—who fought with the French army—was captured and hauled to a prison camp near Munich. After escaping, he joined the French resistance force.
The blond-hair, blue-eyed Loinger routinely lead groups of Jewish kids on soccer trips “conveniently” hosted near France’s border with neutral Switzerland. “Amazingly,” the ball would often be kicked toward the border, where several students would dive into the woods in pursuit (following their teacher’s careful instructions to flee for their lives). It happened again. And again. And again.
With his excellent command of German, Loinger once convinced a group of Nazi officers that the group of 50 children he was escorting had fled the Allied bombing of Marseille. Reportedly, the Germans gave the Jewish kids candy, even joining along with their singing. Georges Loinger simply did what he could, ultimately saving hundreds of Jewish children.
Earlier this month, Loinger died at the remarkable age of 108, his reported last words, “Nobody can destroy Jewish culture.” He surely deserves our heartiest salute as a selfless rescuer.
But might there be a lesson or two for Christ followers in the example of Georges Loinger? Consider:
You don’t have to be a hunting dog to sniff the winds and know that trouble is on the way again. For Jews. For Christians. For many.
It’s time to prepare.
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