“The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz”

The Man Who Broke Into Auschwitz

Wade Webster

Denis Avey's story is hard to believe, but it is true. He is known to history as the man who broke into Auschwitz. You heard that right. He broke into, not out of, Auschwitz.

I suppose the first question is, Why would anyone break into Auschwitz? To make a long story short, Avey broke into the notorious concentration/extermination camp to be an eyewitness to history so that after the war men would know what happened there. He had doubts that any Jews would actually survive to tell the story.

The second question is, How did he break into Auschwitz?  Denis Avey was a soldier in the British Army. He was captured by the Germans while fighting Rommel in the desert. He escaped briefly when the ship that he was being transported in was torpedoed and sank. However, he was quickly recaptured and sent to a prison camp in Poland that bordered Auschwitz III. Although Avey's conditions as a prisoner of war were not good, they were far better than the ghostly figures that he saw on the other side of the fence. Eventually, Avey became friends with a Jewish inmate named Hans. On two different occasions, Avey and Hans changed positions for a day. They met in a wooden shed that bordered the two camps and quickly changed into each other's clothes. Avey described in detail his emotions as he took off his British uniform and boots to put on the dirty, striped uniform and rough, wooden shoes of his friend. The little protection and comfort that his uniform provided him under the Geneva convention was gone when he became a stripey. For a short time, Avey was one of them. He was walking in their shoes.

As amazing as this story is, you and I know an even better one. We know the story of One who left the ivory palace of heaven for a poor man’s cottage in Nazareth.  In Psalms, we read, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of righteousness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

You love righteousness and hate wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of gladness more than Your companions. All Your garments are scented with myrrh and aloes and cassia, Out of the ivory palaces, by which they have made You glad” (Psa. 45:6-8).  We know the story of One who didn’t just put on our garments, but our nature (Phil. 2:5-8; John 1:14; 13:4). We know the story of One who fully understands what it is to be one of us (Heb. 2:10-18; 4:15).  We know the story of One who died to set us free (Heb. 2:9; Rom. 5:6-10). Let's make sure that we tell His story for the world to hear!