The Holocaust is a history of enduring horror and sorrow. It seems as though there is no spark of human concern, no act of humanity, to lighten that dark history.
Yet there were acts of courage and kindness during the Holocaust - this is the story of Wilm Hosenfeld, a German Wehrmacht officer who believed in helping others, even at the risk of getting himself killed - a man who had the courage to stand against evil.
The Holocaust survivor, the author Elie Wiesel, has dedicated his life to ensuring that none of us forget what happened to the Jews. The Nobel Prize recipient wrote:
"In those times there was darkness everywhere. In heaven and on earth, all the gates of compassion seemed to have been closed. The killer killed and the Jews died and the outside world adopted an attitude either of complicity or of indifference. Only a few had the courage to care."
One of them was Wilm Hosenfeld. He risked everything to help Jews escape the Nazi genocide and achieved world-wide fame as the rescuer of the Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Wladyslaw Szpilman, when Polanski's film "The Pianist" won the Golden Palm in Cannes and 3 Academy Awards.
Many, many people around the world, including Andrzej Szpilman, the son of the pianist, has been demanding, for years now, that Yad Vashem honor Wilm Hosenfeld as a Righteous Among the Nations: non-Jews who risked their lives in order to rescue Jews.
Today the name of Wilm Hosenfeld is known to millions as a household word for courage ...