Thank you to all the Facebook friends who have posted this video in honor of Maximilian Kolbe, whose feast was celebrated yesterday. It is a powerful, powerful reminder of the horrors of the Holocaust and the heroics of those who refused to be defeated by the atrocities and darkness all around them.
From the video clip is this message from Auschwitz prisoners who were so moved by Father Kolbe's decision to offer his own life in the place of another:
"We became aware that someone among us in this spiritual dark night of the soul was raising the standard of love on high. Someone unknown like everyone else, tortured and bereft of name and social standing, went to a horrible death for the sake of someone not even related to him. Therefore, it is not true, we cried, that humanity is cast down and trampled in the mud, overcome by oppressors and overwhelmed by hopelessness. Thousands of prisoners were convinced the true world continued to exist and that our torturers would not be able to destroy it. To say that Father Kolbe died for us or for that person's family is too great a simplification. His death was the salvation of thousands."