5,000

 

During World War II, starting in the winter of 1940-41, in and around the village of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon in Nazi-occupied France, 5,000 Jews were sheltered…by 5,000 Christians.

The Protestant Huguenot villagers, mostly poverty-stricken themselves, protected the Jews at the risk of their own lives. Every home took in Jews, fed and protected them, right under the noses of the Gestapo. They were often hidden in the countryside when the authorities came to investigate. For four years they defied the Nazi régime and a French government that was collaborating with the Nazis. The citizens of Le Chambon sheltered these strangers, educated their children, and arranged for hundreds to flee to Switzerland or Spain via an intricate, wooded, underground escape route.

True to their beliefs, some citizens of Le Chambon-sur-Lignon penned a letter to the Nazi-influenced Vichy government, feeling spiritually obligated to admit that they were indeed sheltering Jewish refugees. They were clearly defiant in their determination to protect them – “We feel obliged to tell you that there are among us a certain number of Jews…whose only fault is to be born in another religion…We have Jews. You’re not getting them.”

No resident of Le Chambon, it is believed, ever turned away or betrayed a single Jewish refugee.

            “I do not know what a Jew is.  I know only human beings.”
André Trocmé, the Huguenot pastor of Le Chambon

5,000
They were welcomed

  Given shelter and refuge
  Without hesitation.
O
n the edge of violence.

Protected, without question
  Given food and a future
  At the risk of everything
I
n open defiance.


One life saved, f
or every hero
From a man
From a horrific plan
From a power, aiming for zero

Five thousand.
Spared a hateful demise
Five thousand.
Strong and assured
Five thousand.
Sharing one single purpose
Five thousand.
  And no one said a word.


Hiding strangers

Sharing what little they had
 Without hesitation
For a number of years.

A beacon of hope
  Sharing an indomitable spirit
  Without reservation
A
nd despite their fears.


Committed, as one, to uphold humanity

To do what was right
To the preservation of life 

 An immaculate deception, in the face of the enemy

Five thousand.
Hidden amongst them
Five thousand.
Their c
onviction, silently heard
Five thousand.
Sharing one selfless will
Five thousand.
  And no one said a word.

                                        Gary Greentree


Happy are those hungry and thirsty of justice…for they will be satisfied.”
-André Trocmé

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Unprincipled

     Unprincipled

Biting your tongueEast gate here we go again[1]
For the greater good
No one really wants to
But they know that they should
With a house and car to pay for
It is simply understood
Endure the lack of conscience
Like a robot worker would

The disconnect is intentional
Communication, at a safe length
The less you know the better
To keep their position of strength

Little more than numbers
For the ten hours on your feet
A place where morals and morale
Will never actually meet

Staying level is the struggle
As you wrestle with the machine
A slave to your own devices
With support that’s never seen

It’s commotion in constant motion
It’s the epitome of the grind
With too few doing far too much
While taking it from behind

Manufactured misery
Muscles that constantly ache
Dreading the next marathon
Keeps your worst pains awake
Surrounded by market based cynicism
A daily dose of take and take
In a world of false principles
Defined by what you make

Lunch break is anything but that
With expletives flying around
Pushed to their breaking point
Everyone is breaking down

Saving lives while wasting yours
Management playing their game
Speaking their company rhetoric
While conditions stay the same

A factory devoid of humanity
Insulated by it’s innovation
Where output suppresses input
With ultimatums for motivation

Where half the workers are angry
And the other half are pissed
Where safety is priority one
And integrity misses the list

You bite your tongue
For the greater good
No one really wants to
But they knew you would
With children to clothe and feed
It is simply understood
Endure the lack of ethics
Like every employee should

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