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IN History & Culture ON 30 Apr, 2015
When your faith is shaken and you just don't seem to trust people anymore, have a look at these heroes from the past who showed incredible kindness when the war was on. History was full of gory but despite the bloodshed and brutal acts, kindness took over the hearts of these people and they became the messengers for the people in times of crisis.
This will definitely make you believe in humanity and your faith will be restored.
Germans living in the Sudetenland, a pro-Nazi area of the former Czechoslovakia cheered the German occupation of the area. However, some strongly opposed to fascism voiced their displeasure via anti-Nazi propaganda. The most famous Sudeten German and former Nazi named Oskar Schindler, went on to work against the Nazis and saved Jewish lives.
Zoltan Kubinyi, in-charge of a labor camp defied the orders to ship prisoners to death camps. He rather helped them escape the Nazi officers by getting them drunk. The prisoners were safely led to a Russian-occupied town.
During Balkan Wars in 1990s, the Serbian soldiers defied orders and tried to save the Muslims who were being executed. They helped saving the Muslim neighbors by either hiding them or sacrificing their lives.
Robert Carter III, a slave owner in 1770s suddenly decided to free his slaves. Facing pressure from his pro-slavery sons-in-law, he gradually freed the slaves. Inspired by him, many slave owners in the 19th century joined the abolitionist movement.
In 1994, an ethnic feud between Hutu and Tutsi people resulted into a massive genocide of Tutsi people. But not all Hutus supported the act of violence and opened their homes to Tutsi neighbors. One woman, Sula Karuhimbi housed 20 people in her house and told the Hutu soldiers, who were hunting Tutsis that she was a witch and she would curse them.
Frederik van Zyl Slabbert was one of the most prominent leaders of South Africa despite growing up in a conservative, pro-apartheid house. He resigned from his office over government crackdowns on black activists and started working with black politicians and leaders which eventually got him the title of traitor.
The result of guerrilla warfare in Colombia has left the country littered with mines. The mines cause harm and so a small group of former soldiers tried to clear those land mines, and it has brought such a positive change that even active FARC soldiers are joining the effort.
Robert Owen, a Welsh cotton mill owner in the 19th century, unlike others, worked to create ideal working environments for his employees who had access to free nursery care, and children received free formal educations. He sold items to workers at fair prices from his company store, whereas others would charge hugely inflated prices to keep workers poor. He was a capitalist, but improved the lives of hundreds of workers.
John Rabe, a Nazi officer was a staunch supporter of Hitler and eugenics but due to sudden change of heart he rallied German and American expatriates in Nanking and created an "International Zone," and used it to protect about 250,000 Chinese civilians who fled to it. Though he was arrested as a Nazi supporter after the war, he is remembered in China as a hero.
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