This website is dedicated to the exposition of the life and deeds and moral context of an exceptional profile in courage: a German lawyer who worked, at risk of his own life, within the Nazi legal system to save the lives of some 3000 Jews who would otherwise have been sent to the Nazi death camps. Named the “Dutch Schindler” and honored as a “Righteous Gentile”... this man is nevertheless hardly known in the English-speaking world. Such recognition is of course in itself unimportant. Nor is it important in itself to engage the biographical and historical perspective, simply to honor one individual. But that historical perspective is essential in our appreciation of courageously and even heroically facing the many threats of today. The Calmeyer Foundation sees these threats as existential for Judeo-Christian Civilization, not just for Jews in Israel facing a potential second Holocaust from weapons of mass destruction centered on Tel Aviv. These dangers are directly linked, and they are becoming more apparent every day. Why tell a story of a man’s deeds and about history, if not to relate this to our own lives? That then is a legacy.
The key is for us to learn historical lessons for today. What do we do in the face of evil ? Why do we bother to do anything?
WHY SAVE LIVES ?
Hans Calmeyer, a gentile, a German, a somewhat elite and learned lawyer, saved 3000 Jews from within a legal system gone Nazi, with no recognition or reward in his lifetime, in fact the opposite: secrecy and silence. Where did Calmeyer get his sense of righteousness and moral commitment to save lives? As his legacy, this site explores the various elements of what a righteous man like Hans Calmeyer regarded as proper responses to tyranny. As we see or face similar threats of racial or governmental or cultural/religious oppression, what can any of us do? This site is not small, just as Calmeyer’s deeds were not small, and it is complicated by complex moral issues of our time. Hopefully it will educate and be a proper Legacy to all readers.