Posted by: myroadtoemmaus | April 14, 2009

peter loth

I listened to Peter Loth speak this morning.  Peter is a Holocaust survivor.  He is also following Jesus.  And his story is incredible. 

Peter was born at Stutthof, a Nazi concentration camp on the coast of the Baltic Sea.  The unthinkable was done to women who were found pregnant during those years.  Many times, at Stutthof in particular, the babies were taken out of their mothers by the means of an operation and were then used as target practice by the soldiers.  No babies surived.  That is, except for ones that were born on September 2, the anniversary that marked the beginning of the camp.  Peter was one of these babies who was born on September 2. 

70 years later, Peter travels the world sharing his story.  His story doesn’t stop at Stutthof.  Following liberation, he was abandoned by his mother and taken to Poland where he grew up in the sewers and in prisons, simply because of the yellow star that was sewed onto his shirt.  He watched his only friends executed, only to have his life spared when the woman who was raising him offered herself to the soldiers so that her son could live.  Halfway though his teenage years, weighing a mere 60 pounds, he came to America with his family (whom he was reunited with).  Having a new black stepfather and two little black sisters, he wound up in the deep south… during the 1960’s.. and the unthinkable continued. 

Fast forward a few decades and Peter was married and living in south Florida when Jesus spoke to him and asked Peter to follow Him.  It wasn’t until Peter was back in Stutthof a decade or so later, staring face to face at the pictures of the very men who ran the concentration camps so many years ago when he heard Jesus say, “Will you forgive them”?

Can you even imagine? 

If anybody has the right to not have to offer forgiveness, it’s Peter.  Better yet, if anybody has the right to not have to offer forgiveness, it’s Jesus.  And yet He was the very man who hung on a cross and whispered, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”  Can you even imagine?  But as Peter stared at the pictures of the soldiers and wrestled with Jesus, he knew that he would not be forgiven unless he offered forgiveness.  What freedom those whispered prayers have brought to this man’s life.  At the end of our time together, he asked us all to close our eyes and to search our hearts.  Who did we need to forgive?  And what were we waiting for?  As this man wrapped his arms around a few who were weeping and as he led them in prayers of forgiveness, I could barely hold it together.  Forgiveness is a powerful, powerful thing.

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Responses

  1. wow… incredible. where did you hear him speak?


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