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When I first got my Kindle, many new authors offered their books for free. One of the first books I downloaded was Heidegger’s Glasses, by Thaisa Frank.

Sadly, I don’t remember much about the plot of this novel. I will never forget one detail, however. The author invents an optometrist to make a pair of glasses for the German philosopher Martin Heidegger. The optometrist’s name is Dr. Engelhart.

This is my maiden name. It is not a common name anymore. It’s obviously German. I learned that it means Strong Angel.

In the novel, Dr. Engelhart is sent to the gas chamber during the Holocaust of World War II, in the Nazi program to eradicate the Jews.

I had never imagined that my maiden name might be Jewish. My father had never mentioned any Judaic history in my family. But I had taken several classes with a Judaica teacher at my church, and have spent a lot of time at local synagogues teaching English to elder Jews recently immigrated from Eastern Europe. I felt comfortable in the Jewish community, even though I am a believer in Yeshua as the fulfilled promise of the Messiah – I am a Christian.

I knew of Yad Vashem – The Holocaust Remembrance Center. So, I went to the website and searched the name Engelhart. Astoundingly, I discovered page after page after page of my family name, spelled exactly the same- names of those who had perished in the Holocaust. Strong Angels.

And that’s when the tears started falling.


Photo credit: David Shankbone – The Hall of Names containing Pages of Testimony commemorating the millions of Jews who were murdered during the Holocaust


Hudson Reed Showers