Johann Fortner was a general of his own Wehrmacht division, as well as a prominent leader of the Black Legion. Dervis Korkut was a dapper, fifty-something Muslim in a three-piece suit and a fez, as well as chief librarian of the Bosnian National Museum. When Korkut met Fortner, the former could be forgiven for stepping aside and letting the latter take whatever he wanted. But that is not what happened:
See, Fortner had gotten on der Fuhrer's good side by collecting Judaica (Hitler had plans to create a "museum of an extinct race" after he'd wiped them all out) and Korkut's library was home to one of the most precious (and priceless) Jewish manuscripts in existence: the Sarajevo Haggadah, dating clear back to 1350.
You can tell by the graphics.
You might be thinking that for Korkut -- a Muslim -- the choice between his own life and limb and an old-ass Jewish book would be an obvious one. But you'd be wrong. Before his meeting with Fortner, Korkut took the book and stuffed it into his pants. Then he told Fortner that he'd already handed it over to another German officer, while presumably also explaining that he was born with a tragically deformed, book-shaped crotch. After the meeting, Korkut smuggled the book through war-torn Sarajevo streets, and tucked it alongside the Korans in a remote mosque, where it remained safely hidden until after the war.
An Amish Community Sets Their Grief Aside To Protect The Family Of The Mass Shooter Who Attacked Them
On the morning of October 2, 2006, Charles Roberts walked into a tiny, one-room schoolhouse in the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania, shot 10 young schoolgirls (killing five), and then turned his gun on himself.
Then, mere hours after the attack, a group of Amish made their way to the house of the attacker's fresh widow, Marie Roberts ...
Oh, not to burn the place down, or even deliver a stern lecture. They just wanted to voice their concern for the couple's three young children.
Once again, just after losing five of their own young children.
The Amish community also donated money to help the family through the financial hardship of losing their breadwinner. On the day of Roberts' funeral, several Amish families -- some of whom had just buried their young daughters the day before -- gathered at the small Methodist church where he was to be buried (it's estimated that fully half of the funeral's attendees were Amish).
Though the case may seem out of this world because ... well, the Amish kind of live in a world of their own making, that's the sort of compassion that should be universally lauded, planet of origin be damned.
Jordan Breeding has a blog, a twitter, and offers no mercy to grilled cheese sandwiches. Never. Britni Patterson writes mystery novels in between sleeping, and hunting down anything made with Nutella. Follow her at her website, Facebook, or Twitter.
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