More snow than I’ve ever seen and very cold temps made it a great night for a movie. We finally landed on “The Resistance Banker”, the real-life story of the banker, Walraven “Wally” van Hall of Amsterdam, who helped a group of Dutch citizens form a secret bank to fund the Nazi Resistance. It brings to light another previously unknown hero, like Oskar Schindler, Corrie Ten Boom, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who fought the Nazi’s tragic attempted destruction of the Jews. Seeing the mounting impact of the Nazi war machine and seeing his Jewish neighbors hauled off in dire railway cars, van Hall was compelled to act.
David Wharton, journalist and film critic, who reviews for the Daily Dot focus (https://www.dailydot.com), writes of this movie, “It’s harrowing, fascinating viewing, and well worth your investment.” We agree. If you’re looking for a light, relaxing movie, look elsewhere. But if you want to be awakened to the real power of evil, the creative, daring, inspiring and costly ways people have resisted it, and you would like to discover a piece of history you have not yet known, check out “The Resistance Banker.”
In the end, Wally van Hall lost his life at 39 years of age, a husband and father of three. How many lives he saved, how much he reduced the persistence of the war, only God truly knows.
Watching this riveting account, we could not help but wonder again how some people can cast doubt on the calamity of the Holocaust, essentially denying that it happened. That someone could actually believe that is unconscionable.
On seeing one of the Nazi Concentration camps, Supreme Allied Commander and former
President, Dwight Eisenhower said, “I visited every nook and cranny of the camp because I felt it my duty to be in a position from then on to testify at first hand about these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief or assumption that `the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda’” (From Crusade in Europe, pp 408-9, Remember.org). Eisenhower said, “I have never felt able to describe my emotional reactions when I first came face to face with indisputable evidence of Nazi brutality and ruthless disregard of every shred of decency” (ibid). That was evil on ruthless display.
Genocide is not a thing of the past. Mass murders still happen today. Being a news buff, I have for many years listened to CBS radio news when traveling in my car. Each broadcast begins with, “CBS covers the world.” There is no way anyone can cover everything going on in the world in a brief newscast. Too many people are suffering, fighting the ravages of war, in poverty and hungry, for anyone to summarize it in five minutes or less.
A too-often missing conviction today is that evil is real, exceedingly powerful and alarmingly predominant. It can sneak up on us when we are not alert. “The Resistance Banker” is the story of one man’s response to that fact.
We inhale grace when we make ourselves alert to evil’s prevalence. It’s a shield of protection. New Testament writer, Peter, urged his readers (1Peter 5:8), “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”
It’s healthy to live with fear (profound respect for, not being afraid of) of God. A biblical Proverb (16:6) guides us, “ . . . through the fear of the LORD evil is avoided.” Another biblical Proverb (14:27) reminds us, “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, . . . .” When we rest in knowing that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the World, who can disable evil and will ultimately triumph over all evil, we can exhale gratitude.