Love in the Face of Oppression - Quakers and Nazis

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous" (Matthew 5:43-45).

In testimony given before the House Military Affairs committee from July 10 to August 2, 1940, during the hearings on the Selective Training and Service Act, the Society of Friends gave their view on how they hoped the government would treat conscientious objectors. During the grilling from representatives who did not regard conscientious objectors highly, Paul French, the eventual head of the organization that represented the conscientious objectors with the government, was asked how Quakers were fairing under the Nazis. In reply, French shared the following testimony about a group of Quakers who were in an area conquered by the Germans:

"The Quaker units in Holland under German occupation and in Germany are still functioning. We just had a very interesting account last night from a member of the Service Committee of the Quaker unit functioning in Bordeaux when the Germany army came in. They had been feeding Spanish refugee children, and as soon as the German army of occupation landed, naturally, they were a bit concerned as to what was going to happen and they went to the commanding general and asked what their position was to be, and the two ranking officers of the German army told them that they had been fed by the Quaker relief organization 20 years ago, and to go ahead an operate as they had."

What a powerful testimony of the principle to love all people in all situations.