What can a wealthy business man (himself a Christian) do to save the lives of a large number of Jews living under the oppressive state of Hitler’s regime? How about hire hundreds of Jews in his business and then send them on overseas assignments? This simple and brilliant plan was made a reality by Ernst Leitz II, and for his effort, countless Jews today have this courageous man to thank for life itself. The Leica Freedom Train was a rescue effort in which hundreds of Jews were smuggled out of Nazi Germany before the Holocaust by Ernst Leitz II of the Leica Camera company, and his daughter Elsie Kuehn-Leitz.
Incredibly, the Leitz family wanted no publicity for their heroic efforts. And, only after the last member of the Leitz family was dead did the “Leica Freedom Train” finally come to light.
A great deal of talent is lost to the world for want of a little courage. Every day sends to their graves obscure men whose timidity prevented them from making a first effort. –Sydney Smith
Is there any regret worse than not acting on our core convictions? I believe that the first leap of courage in doing what seems impossible, may feel insurmountably difficult…but what follows soon after is pure liberation from fear and from living life as an imposter. …and speaking of courage (and inspired by Elsie)…a song I’ve added to my list.