One of my closest friends here in Los Angeles is a Holocaust survivor named Sol. As a teenager he saw his mother and baby sister sent to the crematoria by Josef Mengele. Over eighty members of Sol’s family were murdered by the Nazis.
Sol and his brother Steve were sent on a death march in which thousands of Jews died of starvation and exhaustion. Those Jews who stopped to rest or go to the bathroom were bayoneted or shot by the German guards.
At one point Steve told Sol that he was unable to go on. He just wanted to die.
Sol, a skeleton of a teenager and smaller than his brother, hoisted Steve on his back and carried him through the Polish countryside—for over seventy miles. It was summer, the sun was blazing. There was no water, no food, no mercy.
Sol saved his brother’s life by a supreme act of will and courage.
“How did you do it?” I asked.
Sol shrugged: “I just did.”
Reading about three young Colorado men who sacrificed themselves to protect their girlfriends reminded me of Sol.
Three survivors of the Colorado movie-theater massacre escaped with minor wounds, but were left with broken hearts because their heroic boyfriends died saving them.
In final acts of valor, Jon Blunk, Matt McQuinn and Alex Teves used their bodies to shield their girlfriends as accused madman James Holmes turned the Aurora cineplex into a shooting gallery.
Blunk’s girlfriend, Jansen Young; McQuinn’s girlfriend, Samantha Yowler; and Teves’ gal pal Amanda Lindgren made it out of the bloodbath — but they would have been killed had it not been for the loves of their lives.
No doubt militant feminists will view this supreme sacrifice as supreme male chauvinism fostered by a patriarchal culture.
To which we say, thank G-d.
My friend David Gerstman, AKA Soccer Dad, sent me this link that has more about the heroes and victims of the Colorado massacre.