Today is the Feast of Saint Maximilian Kolbe, the Catholic priest who gave his life to save another prison in his concentration camp from death. The story goes that after a prisoner had escaped ten men were selected at random to die of starvation in reprisal for the escape. He suffered for two weeks of starvation before dying of lethal injection.
Somewhere else in Europe at this time a young woman named Martha was being hidden in a barn. She and her family had been rounded up and loaded into a cattle car to be transported to a concentration camp some time before hand. Most likely this Jewish family from Kisvarda, a suburb of Budapest, Hungary were taken to one of the large and well known camps. On the way there Martha realized what was going to happen to her and her family, she pleaded with her relatives to escape with her, but they refused to risk being parted from one another. She alone, jumped from the cattle car and escaped into the woods were she was hidden in a barn until the end of the war.
When she returned home years later the only thing left of her family was a ring hidden under a floor board and her.
There were many people like Father Kolbe in those years who gave or risked everything to save people like the woman on the train.
I know this because the woman in the story is my Great-Great Aunt, who is to our knowledge, the only surviving member of our family living in Hungary at the time of World War II and today I wish to add the person or persons who saved her, though we do not know their names, to the collective memory of the brave souls of that era.