Courage and the Righteous Among the Nations

By | November 6, 2019

[November 6, 2019]  Forty descendants of an Israeli group of siblings hugged an elderly Greek woman.  As a teenager, this tiny Greek lady hid, fed, and protected Israelis more than 75 years ago and risking everything to save her neighbors from death at the hands of the Nazis.  Melpomeni Dina is one of only a few recognized among the Righteous Among the Nations, Israel’s highest honor to those who risked their lives to save Jews during the Holocaust.

I had never heard of this honor before I saw an article in The Times of Israel (see link here), just a few days ago.  It intrigued me.  I often write of courage and the many shapes it comes in.  A common thought most folks have is about our impotence to make a difference in the world.  We often believe only the very smart, strongest, or luckiest among us will ever have the chance to make a difference.  This is, of course, not true.

Melpomeni Dina was a small teenage girl who stood up to that Nazi death machine.  I believe it is important to honor her and the many others who bravely saved thousands from certain death.  Rarely are we witness to those of such solid character.  I’m not so sure that the majority of us would have done what she did for her neighbors.

The most famous case of non-Jews saving Jews during World War II is Oskar Schindler, whose efforts to save more than 1,000 Jews was documented in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 movie “Schindler’s List.”  Also famous is Raoul Wallenberg, a Swedish diplomat who saved about 20,000 Jews before mysteriously disappearing.

There is a special committee, chaired by a retired Supreme Court Justice, is responsible for vetting every case of “Righteous Among the Nations,” before awarding the title.1  Between 400 and 500 are typically recognized a year, even for those awarded posthumously.

For a related article that I published back in July of this year, see my post titled “Walking with a Holocaust Survivor.”  A link to the article is here.

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  1. https://www.timesofisrael.com/in-jerusalem-greek-wwii-rescuer-92-reunites-with-jews-she-saved/
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Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

23 thoughts on “Courage and the Righteous Among the Nations

  1. Mark Evans

    Just read your article. I’m a few days behind. The idea that Israel is providing recognition of the good deeds by non Jews is not a trivial act. Let us all rejoice in the fact that at least some Jews were saved from the Holocaust.

    Reply
  2. Kenny Foster

    We can learn from history many lessons:
    1. What is “honor” is one that I personally like. Darius III ran from the battlefield and his cowardice is known throughout history.
    2. What is “evil” continues to elude us even in modern times.
    3. How to confront the enemy when outnumbered and outmaneuvered. It takes experience, guts, and trust in your men.

    Reply
  3. Otto Z. Zuckermann

    Enjoyed your article today, Gen. Satterfield. Emotional, educational, and entertaining. Keep ’em coming!!

    Reply
    1. Ed Berkmeister

      If only everyone could see to it that these stories never go away.

      Reply
  4. Mr. T.J. Asper

    Gen. Satterfield, more stories like this are needed. I personally leverage such stories for my history class of very young boys and girls in High School. We learn the significance of such behavior – physical courage in this case – what motivates people to do such things and the ramifications of it too. I like the idea that some people are brave and it is acknowledged because it is a concrete demonstration on how we should all act. Leadership means showing leadership in action.

    Reply
    1. José Luis Rodriguez

      Thanks Mr. TJ for taking care of our young and educating them on the real world. Keep up the great work to protect our young from the death ideology of socialism.

      Reply
      1. Dennis Mathes

        Forrest, you know what they say? Stupid is, as …. stupid does.

        Reply
  5. Yusaf from Texas

    “The risk they took upon themselves to take in an entire family, knowing that it put them and everyone around them in danger,” said Sarah Yanai, today 86, who was the oldest of the five siblings Dina and others sheltered. “Look at all these around us. We are now a very large and happy family and it is all thanks to them saving us.”

    Reply
    1. Gil Johnson

      Family is what is important. Everything else pales in comparison to other worldly things.

      Reply
  6. Jane Fillmore

    Gen Satterfield, I went to the linked article and it nearly made me weep from the sad but encouraging story. I love this stuff. Keep up the great work of bringing these things to our attention.

    Reply
    1. Harry Donner

      I think we can all agree that this is, indeed, why so many of us have stuck by this website for so long. 👍

      Reply
  7. Doug Smith

    Nothing better in the morning than coming to the Gen. Satterfield leadership website to get my 5 minute does of stiff-upper-lip leader tips.

    Reply
  8. Eric Coda

    This shows us all the more reason that Jews and Gentiles should be simpatico with one another. The muslim religion, remains stuck in the 5th century and should either be overhauled or in some way modernized to stop it from “encouraging” its members to kill or enslave the world.

    Reply
    1. Wilson Cox

      Nothing like the threat of being a slave to get the mind working properly. Many of our young today have absolutley no idea what they are doing, the stupidity of their progressivism (and link to Marx), and the 100+ million deaths that prove this line of ideology does not work.

      Reply
      1. Georgie B.

        Good comment, Wilson. Sometimes you have to have your head slapped really good before you wake up and see what’s happening around you. That is the lot of the majority of Americans anyway.

        Reply
      2. Darwin Lippe

        This is a wonderful story that should be shared for all to see. But, too much anti-antisemitism in the US and Europe to make it available. Thank you, General Satterfield, for bringing this to my attention.

        Reply
  9. Max Foster

    Interesting article. I’d never heard of this organization. I’m glad they are still honoring non-Jews who helped save them. More like this should be brought to our attention and discussed. WE MUST NEVER FORGET. But also we should not tolerate the hiding of history.

    Reply
    1. The Kid 1945

      Exactly, like the purposeful disinterest of communist atrocities and an unimaginable magnitude during and after WWII. That is something liberals should stick up their butts to provide them with some light.

      Reply
      1. Roger Yellowmule

        Ouch, tell us what you think about those little commie bastards. ha ha ha ha 😊😊😊😊😊

        Reply
      2. Eva Easterbrook

        But, but, but … young people love communism today. Why? A great question for them to answer (which they cannot do so logically).

        Reply
    2. JT Patterson

      Spot-on note from you Max and so thanks. We need more to recognize and spread the word that Jews and Christians can get along.

      Reply

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