How should I take revenge?
An Incredible Revenge
“In 1943 I was condemned to death by a German military tribunal"
(The grey-haired man giving his testimony spoke quietly, even apologetically.)
"I had a wife and four children, so the sentence was commuted to a term in a concentration camp in Germany. Nine months later I weighed 80 pounds, my body was covered with scars, and my left arm
had been broken and had set without medical attention.
"On Christmas Eve I was in the hut with other men when the camp commandant sent for me. I found him sitting at a table prepared for a Christmas dinner. He made me stand at attention during the
whole meal, which lasted an hour, and he tormented me because I was a Christian and preached to my fellow prisoners. I was greatly tempted by the devil, who said to me, 'Dapozzo, do you still
believe the 23rd Psalm?' I prayed to God — and was able to answer, 'Yes, I do.'
"An orderly brought in coffee and a packet of small cakes. The camp commandant began to eat them. Then he said, 'Your wife is a good cook, Dapozzo!'
"I did not understand, so he explained, 'Every month, for seven months, your wife has sent you a parcel of cakes and biscuits. I have eaten them.'
"Then I was greatly tempted. I knew that my wife and children were short of food and that, from their inadequate rations, she had scraped enough flour and fats and sugar to send me something. This
man was eating my children's food! The devil said to me, 'Hate him, Dapozzo!'
Again I prayed — and I could not hate him, I wanted him to give me a small piece of biscuit, not
to eat, but that I might look at it and think of my children but he ate everything. He cursed me.
"I said, 'You are a poor man, camp commandant, and I am rich, because I believe in God and am saved by the precious blood of Jesus Christ.' He got very angry and sent me back to the hut.
"When the war was over I began to look for him. Most of the camp commandants were shot; he escaped, and was in hiding. I sought for him for 10 years, and at last I found him. I went to see him
with a Protestant minister. He did not recognize me. I said, ' I am number 175. Do you remember Christmas Eve, 1943?'
"Then he was afraid and so was his wife. He said, ' You have come to take your revenge.' I said, ' Yes,' —and I opened a parcel. In it was a large cake. I asked his wife to make coffee, and the
four of us ate and drank together. The man began to weep and begged for forgiveness. I told him that I forgave him for Christ's sake.
"One year later both he and his wife sought salvation and are now professing Christians.
"The little Salvation Army hall in the corps at Rome, Italy, was very quiet as he spoke, for the Spirit of God was passing over us and speaking to us, and when that happens, man must be still
By Lt-Commissioner Francis Evans - taken from the Canadian War Cry and reprinted in the New Zealand War Cry.