Miracle At Midnight – Awesome Things You Didn’t Know Were On Disney+

It’s kind of a crazy time in the world right now. Almost no one alive today can remember the last time the word “pandemic” was applicable to our everyday lives.

With so many people at home right now, I know everyone is looking for something fresh to do with their time. And many parents are looking for ways to educate their children and keep them engaged.

Let me tell you about a lesser-known gem available on Disney+.

Miracle At Midnight

miracle at midnight

A made-for-TV movie from the 90s that tells the incredibly inspiring story of how the Danes saved over 90% of their Jewish population from the Holocaust during WWII.

Yes, you read that correctly. Over 90% of the Danish Jewish population was saved during WWII thanks to the incredible efforts of the Danish people.

This happened over 80 years ago and it still feels like good news.

And it happened in the course of just a few weeks.

germans plotting

The year is 1943, and the German occupying government is planning to crack down hard upon the Jews. They will round up over 7,000+ Jews on the night of Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year). They will stamp out the Jews in Denmark as they have so many other countries in Europe.

It is a brilliant plan…a plan destined to fail.

Word reaches the Danish people, and an act of God takes place over the next several days.

It’s an incredible story, the central characters created to tell this story are Dr. Karl Koster and his wife Doris (Mia Farrow), teenage son Henrik, and daughter Else.

Through the eyes of Dr. Koster we understand the incredible efforts and coordination that took place among every member of the Danish population to save their Jewish friends and neighbors. People of all walks of life came together and provided hiding places, money, transportation, and information to protect the lives of Danish Jews.

Through the eyes of Henrik we experience the young Danish Resistance and their fearlessness in facing down the evil the Nazis presented.

Through the eyes of Doris we feel the fear and strength of a woman who has to walk the line of caring for her neighbors while carrying the weight of protecting her family as well.

Through the eyes of Else we understand what it must be to be a child growing up in a terrifying time.

It’s inspiring. It’s beautiful. It’s encouraging.

The same historical event is the setting for the classic book by Lois Lowry Number The Stars where a young Danish girl and her family save their Jewish neighbors. I highly recommend the book as well.

number the stars

So many countries failed to protect the Jews. We find stand-out heroes in every nation who stood up and said “No” when everyone else said nothing. But to see an entire country of people who not only worked together but were so completely successful is something else entirely. What might have happened if other nations had done the same thing?

Thousands upon thousands of people exist in the world today because those 7000+ Danish Jews were saved. They are a living testimony to the righteous courage of the Danes and their efforts to protect their fellow human beings. Not only were most of the Jews saved, but only 500 Jews were caught by the Nazis and taken to a ghetto. Out of those only 51 died.

When the Jews returned to Denmark after the war had ended the Jews found that their friends and neighbors had also protected their homes and businesses for them so they would have something to return to.

To quote a line from the history article I have included in the links, historian Leni Yahil said the Danish Jews were protected by

 “a living wall raised by the Danish people in the course of one night.”

This is life as it should be. This is brotherhood. This is God’s heart. And it is something we can all learn from today, whatever our circumstances or difficulties are.

War is plague just as coronavirus is a plague. Hatred is a plague, and hatred and evil killed millions of people during WWII. It’s important to recognize the heroes and find stories where good men and women decided that doing nothing was not an option.

We are not fighting Nazis today. That word gets thrown around a lot in the media and by ignorant people who have no idea what Nazis actually were. This movie tells the true story of Nazis, and the people who opposed them. And it does it well.

To sum up, I’ll quote a beautiful speech from the movie that is delivered by Georg Duckwitz. He truly was an ally in this situation and shared information with Danish people that allowed them to outwit the Germans and save the Jews.

werner best

At the end of the movie when asked why he, a German, did what he did, Duckwitz replies with this beautiful speech that we can all learn from.

I came to this country (Denmark) as a young man, ambitious, a little homesick as young men are, and the Danes welcomed me. And some of them were Jews. It’s easy to persecute the nameless and the faceless, but these people are not faceless to me. I could have walked away…but…you know, a man must live with himself a long time. And if he can do something to ease a little of the terrible ache in this world…he must. I love Denmark. It’s my home now, and when your home is on fire you want to save it. That’s all it was. My home was on fire. Miracle At Midnight

In these days where we feel like the world is upside down and we do not know what to expect, we can learn so much from the beautiful Danish people and how they responded to their time of crisis.

*Parental warning, this movie contains shooting, at few on-screen deaths, implied suicides (a shadow of a hanging man’s legs is shown on the wall), and blood from injuries. Characters are shown being terrified and in danger. A young man and woman lie down in the woods (fully clothed) and pretend to be making out to distract German soldiers. Some characters are separated. 

This movie can spur on so many lessons. If you are looking for a neat way to educate and engage your children, I highly recommend this movie. I will include a few links to get you started.

This movie is a gem about a story that I hope none of us ever forget.

Check it out on Disney+ today!

And here are few resources to get you started!

Number The Stars on Amazon by Lois Lowry!

A Rescuer in Copenhagen Georg Duckwitz

Miracle At Midnight on Disney+

The Young Underground Series by Robert Elmer

Why 90% of Danish Jews Survived the Holocaust on history.com

Rosh Hashanah at museumofthebible.org

 

 

 

5 Reasons Why Captain America Will NEVER Become Hydra

You’ve probably read about the new comic book issue of Captain America where he is revealed to a double agent for Hydra.

I will admit, the moment I read the news I got pretty riled up. I do not read the comics myself, but I have done a lot of research into certain character’s backgrounds, Cap’s being one of them. There is just so much material to work with. But I am a huge movie fan and Captain America is my favorite superhero. Hearing that his good name was being defamed in a comic book, even as he continues to be a hero on-screen just hurt my  fangirl heart. Thousands of others feel the same way, if the explosion of outrage is any indication. It has honestly gotten out of hand with people making extreme threats and saying horrible things. Let me just take a minute here to say this. It’s very hypocritical to express love for a character who stands for goodness, justice, and freedom, only to later spew toxic waste out of your mouth towards someone for doing something you don’t like regarding that character. Guys, this is JUST a fictional story, these are FICTIONAL characters, and the individuals you are threatening are REAL people who have value and dignity. Let’s always keep that at the forefront of our minds when expressing our displeasure over something.

That being said, I was truly upset by this. We get very attached to our heroes, even if they are just fictional ones. And Captain America is like the pinnacle of a heroic good guy, and he has been that for 75 years.

But after my emotions had time to cool, and I spent a little bit more time in thought about this idea. It makes absolutely no sense for Marvel to turn their golden boy into a villain given the extreme success he has had both in print and on the screen. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced that this is an incredibly effective (and incredibly aggravating) play on Marvel’s part to stir up a controversial media storm. In time, this plot twist will be explained and Captain America’s good character shall be restored. And here are 5 reasons why.

(1) Captain America is a pillar in American History. A recent documentary put out by Marvel celebrating 75 years of Captain America is incredibly eye-opening into just how intertwined the Star Spangled Man is with our real, life American history. Since the 1940s when Cap made his debut punching Adolf Hitler in the face, Captain America has had a response to the current events different generations of Americans have been facing. In every decade, Captain America has represented freedom, justice, and a moral compass that is both inspiring and comforting. He as a character has been a thread that tied multiple generations and events in history together.

(2) Captain America was created by two Jewish men, Jack Kirby and Joe SimonThese two men created a character who stood in the face of Nazi injustice. He never gave up, never gave in, and always stood up to defend those who could not defend themselves. To make the character of Steve Rogers a Nazi now would be grossly inappropriate and fly in the face of what those two men created. Even though I believe this plot twist to be a way to stir up controversy and gain some media attention, I find it incredibly cheap and highly inappropriate. It is glaringly disrespectful to the two men (both of whom were in the service during WWII) and the legacy that they left behind. For shame!

(3) Captain America is one of the most popular superheroes of all time. While we enjoy Tony Stark’s snark, the off-the-wall randomness of Peter Quill, or feel giddy when we watch Hawkeye hit yet another bullseye, there is just no one like Captain America. Even if he is not your personal favorite like he is mine, he represents a stabilizing force that makes you feel secure and gives you someone to believe in. He’s loyal, reliable, consistent, and reminds you that there are still good people in this world who are willing to stand up for what is right. Sure, he’s fictional. But the magnificent thing about fictional characters is that they serve to highlight and accent truths about people in reality. Captain America represents the best part of who we are as Americans, is they said in the documentary, that is all he was intended to be.

(4) It would break America’s heart. If the huge amount of backlash is any indication, it already has. I have yet to read one positive reaction to this Hydra development. Even Chris Evans, the guy who has played Captain America for the last several years and really become this icon has responded with shock.

Chris Evans tweet

We live in a world where we often see our heroes fall. Sports celebrities, politicians, actors, prominent pastors and speakers, any one on a pedestal. It is easy to see how many people have become cynical and jaded at the thought that there is anyone who isn’t hiding some dark secret in their closet. But the truth is that not everyone has skeletons in their closet. We aren’t all about to reveal our dark side. Captain America is a good guy, a hero worth looking at and emulating. Our people, especially our younger people NEED good heroes and role models to look to. This is what Cap has been for 75 years, changing that now would be wrong.

(5) We are celebrating 75 years of Captain America. People, I bought a shirt to commemorate this. An amazing documentary was released celebrating and recounting 75 years of Cap history. The third solo Cap film, Captain America: Civil War is still kicking-rear in the box office and has received overwhelmingly positive feedback. Marvel isn’t so stupid as to forget all of that by ruining who Cap is.

I really and truly believe that this entire thing is a play on Marvel’s part to stir up controversy and gain attention. I think it is cheap, but I have to say, it has worked amazingly. If anyone had doubts about the loyalty of Captain America’s fanbase, those doubts are wiped out by now. This article that I have written and the thousands of other responses like it are just proof that you can’t take a good character down.

As to the comic itself, let’s just see what explanation they have for Cap’s supposed affiliation to Hydra. Meanwhile, I will continue to wear my Captain America 75 Years shirt proudly and enjoy this fictional hero that gives me hope.