Five Lessons I Learned From Auschwitz — Pt. 1

Forced to face one of my darkest fears, 1997 brought the worst, and the best, changes to my life.

That fall, through a strange set of circumstances, I spent the day with a seventy year old woman, a former prisoner of war in Auschwitz. Our meeting wasn’t of the natural kind. Someone penciled us for a Divine Appointment. It started with her invitation.

Logic can’t explain why she plucked me out of a room filled with over three hundred spectators, but she had an answer. She drilled me with sparkling blue eyes, clutched my hand in hers, and in a thick Hungarian accent said, “God has spoken, we must meet.”

Confused, I stuttered, not sure how to respond.

But she pursued my response with adamancy, pumping my hand up and down while she spoke, “You must have breakfast with me in the morning. You must!”

The room seemed to swirl beneath my feet, and all I could do was nod dumbly.

“You will arrive at my hotel at 8:00am. Yes?”

“Yes, okay,” I sputtered.

She patted my hand, told me where she was staying, and sealed our fate. I didn’t know a single meeting would change my life.

We’d barely settled in with our eggs and juice, when she began. This woman told me horrific stories, personal and torturous details, things I’d never read or heard anywhere else about the Holocaust. Her eyes were continuously connected with my own. Her voice strong while her thick dialect added to the suspense. But though she’d experienced unimaginable agony, I couldn’t miss the positive energy she exuded. I longed for a mindset like this woman, who lost her family and nearly her own life, in a Nazi prison camp.

We finished our food, and were still sitting in the restaurant long after the waitress cleared our plates. Without warning, she switched direction. I expected a continuation of her fascinating story, and to glean more jewels of wisdom from her unbelievable outlook, but instead she leaned closer and said, “Tell me about your pain.”

Without mercy she put me on the spot. She asked me questions, and though I’d resolved not to tell, found myself spilling secrets until now, only God knew.

While I shared intimate details, she sometimes reached across and brushed the back of my hand in a show of compassion. When I became worked up about a particular point, and bitterness scraped my throat with guttural anger, she put me in my place. Many hours passed without notice.

As evening approached, she glanced at her watch, and with a tinge of sadness, said, “My flight departs in three hours. Could you take me to the airport? I am not ready to end our time.”

Neither was I. In less than a day, I clung to her like a life ring. I grabbed the chance to spend more precious minutes with Dr. Edith Eger. She had much more to teach, and little did I know, I would learn truth from her time in Auschwitz that would reshape everything. In my personal life, and at work.

Have you ever encountered a supernatural meeting that changed your life in a single sitting?

Anita FreshFaith @ Work

Meet Dr. Edie Eger in the short YouTube video below

Proverbs 16:21 (NIV)

 The wise in heart are called discerning, and gracious words promote instruction.

Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business Coach, Certified Personality Trainer, Communications Specialist, speaker, and writer. She lives in Missouri with her family.

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One response to this post.

  1. All I can say is WOW!!!


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