Meetings with Werner Oder
The year 1943, the myth of the undefeatable German army is increasingly overthrown. Hope of victory begins to form in the hearts of the defeated nations, although complete victory is still not in sight and it’s impossible to foresee the final results. On the eastern front two giants stand face to face, exchanging blows. Who will be victorious? Nature and the extreme winter conditions are to the clear advantage of the Russians. More and more often the German soldiers and leaders ask themselves the question; “Does the Führer know what he’s doing and will his run of successes continue?”
On the 6 th of October, 1943 Himmler leads two meetings with the leaders of the SS and NSDAP, at which he makes a secret speech. He tries to reach the psyche of his listeners, fanatic psychopaths blindly obedient to their leader, Himmler. He explains to them the need of murdering Jewish women and children. This is the first time he speaks so openly about this. Why? At that time 3 million Jews had already been murdered in the “Reinhardt” operation at the end of 1942/beginning of 1943. As a result, there were practically no Jews left in all of Poland. Himmler probably wanted his subordinates to realize that they all shared responsibility for what had taken place and didn’t have any other choice than to lead to the end result what they had undertaken.
Millions of people took part in this madness, each of them individual pieces in the satanic puzzle. One of these wholehearted fanatics was Wilhelm Oder, who was assigned to Rabka in Poland, where he, as the director of the Nazi police school, trained SS men and Ukrainians how to kill their innocent victims in cold blood. Oder was an expert in the technique of killing by gunshot in the back of the head. He was brought to trial and convicted after the war. By destroying the lives of others he also destroyed, in a certain sense, his closest family. His son, Werner Oder, who is now a pastor in England, when he speaks often makes mention of the horror and curse of his father’s life which also had its effect on him. Today Werner is free and happy in Jesus Christ, freed from the cage of demonic bondage into which his own father forced him. As a pastor and born again person Werner wants to repair and, in some way, make amends for what his father did. He has been to Poland several times, visited Rabka, taken part in the yearly international conferences of the Shalom Ministry Association in Oświęcim, where at the selection point he asked God and the participants in the conference for forgiveness for the shedding of innocent blood, for which the nations are guilty. Just recently Werner met with the Jewish community in Poznań at the 70 th anniversary of Himmler’s speech, which took place there. In the synagogue, which the Nazis made into a swimming pool, Werner, as a pastor, but especially as a child of an executioner, asked all the guests for forgiveness for all that his father did. It was a noble moment, an unforgettable experience for everyone present. The rest of the program took place in the Jewish community center and Werner was also involved. The leader of the Jewish community in Poznan, Alicja Kobus, said that it wasn’t easy to stand before Werner, but that she saw that he, too, was a victim of the crimes of his father.
In Poznań Werner Oder, together with friends from Christian churches in Poland, Germany, England and Israel put together a paper in which they replace the words Himmler said there with new words full of blessing to all Jewish people.
A few days earlier Werner had a meeting in a school in Katowice, where he was able to share his life story with a large group of young people which resulted in much interest and enthusiasm. The darkness and cursing that Werner struggled with reached the hearts of the young people. They will be able now to read his book “Battling with Nazi Demons”, which he wrote and gave several copies to the school through the Shalom Ministry Association in Oświęcim.
One of the main reasons for Werner’s visit to Poland this year was his idea that Jews who lived through the Holocaust in Ukraine would be able to come to our country, to Rabka, to be able to rest and be treated in one of the sanitariums there. It’s amazing how God can bring good from what the enemy wanted to destroy. Today 12 Jews from Ukraine, thanks to Werner’s personal involvement, the Rabka Baptist Church and the Shalom Ministry Association in Oświęcim, are able to rest in Rabka and focus on and think about something completely different than they once would have.
On Monday, 08.10.2013, there was another meeting with Werner at the offices of the Shalom Ministry Association in Oswiecim where he was interviewed by the “Voice of the Gospel” from Warsaw.
Werner Oder, as he himself says, became a new, happy person through Jesus Christ – the Jewish Messiah. He is a friend of Israel who fights for exposing the whole truth about the Holocaust. He exposes anti-Semitism, which continues to control so many people, and calls the church to stand in the gap and pray for Israel. By speaking, being interviewed and through his book and life story Werner also helps Polish people to have the right perspective on the Holocaust and anti-Semitism, which is still such a big problem in our society. Werner Oder often mentions that he knows what a high cost Poles paid during the second world war, that in Poland people risked their lives and the lives of their families to help Jews. The Ulm family is one such example. More trees in Yad Vashem, planted for those who helped the Jews, belong to Poles than to any other nation. Werner is also aware of the strong resistance movement which condemned to death and executed those who cooperated and spied, not only on the Poles but on the Jews. He says that the greatest evil, however, was the apathy, not only in Poland but worldwide, about the fate of the Jews. Now the church needs to be active and can’t be apathetic towards every sign of anti-Semitism, so that the Holocaust might never be repeated. Werner Oder is a living example of how God works and can change someone’s heart to be filled with His love.