Don’t Underestimate the Power of One
So often these days we feel helpless to change things that are happening around us. Whether a law, the government, or our community. We will tell ourselves we are just one person after all. What can we do?
Here is a book that may change your mind about that. It isn’t a self help book. It’s a true story of a man and his wife who saved 50 children at the time Hitler was overtaking their nation. It’s one of many stories of everyday people who have proven one person can indeed have an extraordinary effect.
Books such as this one make me think that instead of all the “how to” books on building confidence and success, we should be reading about real people who have lived it. Reading the example such as the Kraus family here, should make us question our own strengths and will.
In 50 Children, a Jewish man, Gilbert Kraus, is asked to go into Nazi Germany to get children out before they are trapped there by Hitler. When it becomes clear that Austria has the more urgent need, Mr. Kraus and his wife Eleanor, go there instead in an attempt to save the children. Their limit was 50.
Even writing that now it pulls me in different directions. Fifty sounds like so many. When you think of our lives today, when our two or three children can drive us crazy at times, how could one couple handle fifty? Not only does it sound impossible to keep track of them all, but keeping them safe as well? Then as I read further, it reminded me of Schindler’s List at the end of the movie, when he asks himself why he didn’t do more. Fifty was a small number then. Why limits were set is sad and puzzling when you look back as well.
The story tells of their experience. It’s a story that would never have been revealed if descendants hadn’t run across a journal kept by Mrs. Kraus. The Kraus’ themselves never spoke of it. They quietly did what they could, at substantial risk to themselves as Jews.
It’s an important book to read, both for inspiration and remembrance.
The book is available in all formats, including audio.