by Ami Hendrickson
But by the grace of God I am what I am. His grace which was bestowed on me was not futile, but I worked more than all of them; yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
1 Corinthians 15:10
Captain Kurt-Siegfried Schrader was a highly decorated German SS officer who served with the elite Waffen SS in World War II.
But Schrader became opposed to the horrors of the Nazis’ nationalist regime.
Wounded during both the Siege of Leningrad and the Battle of Normandy, Schrader spent time in an Austrian hospital near the city of Itter. There his friend, the infamous Captain Wimmer, oversaw a prison of political French POWs, including former Prime Ministers, former commanders of the armed forces, and sports stars. Schrader spent so much time at the prison that he befriended many of the prisoners.
When Hitler’s death signaled the impending end of the war, Wimmer abandoned his post. Knowing the Waffen SS troops were under orders to kill them, the prisoners sent a message asking Schrader for help.
That’s how a German SS officer ended up unlikely allies with U.S. Captain “Jack” Lee, members of the US 142nd Infantry, and Allied German troops under the command of Major Josef Gangl to defeat the Waffen SS at Itter!
No doubt the Apostle Paul, who wrote today’s verse, would have felt a certain kinship with Schrader. Paul knew what it was like to realize he was fighting for the wrong cause.
But with God’s grace, he also risked his life to defend those he had once persecuted.
Thank You for Your gift of grace that covers my every fault.
Please stay close to me as I work for You.
In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.