Ravensbrook Prayer

A little more than a stone’s throw from Berlin is a tiny village called Ravensbrook.  In 1938, in the middle of a swamp just outside the village, the Nazis established a concentration camp exclusively for women and children.  By the end of WWII, 50,000 people had died there.  Some died from exhaustion in the slave labor camp.  Others perished from the harsh, crowded living conditions.  Still others died as a result of cruel medical and biological experiments too horrible to even imagine. When Ravensbrook was liberated at the end of the war, a piece of wrapping paper was found near the body of a dead child.  Scrawled on the paper was this prayer:

“O Lord, remember not only the men and woman of good will, but also those of ill will. But do not remember all of the suffering they have inflicted upon us: Instead remember the fruits we have borne because of this suffering, our fellowship, our loyalty to one another, our humility, our courage, our generosity, the greatness of heart that has grown from this trouble. And when our persecutors come to be judged by you, let all of these fruits that we have borne be their forgiveness."