Juergen Buehler, the son of a German soldier, together with his colleague Shimon Savag, the son of a holocaust survivor, this week described in an interview on Israel’s Channel 2 news their work to serve Israel’s remaining Holocaust survivors.
Buehler is an ordained minister and trained physicist who serves as executive director of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ). The organization’s mandate comes from Isaiah 40:1-2: “Comfort ye, comfort ye My People. Speak comfort to Jerusalem and cry out to her, that her warfare has ended.”
A major part of fulfilling ICEJ’s mandate is serving Israel’s remaining 180,000 Holocaust survivors — one third of whom are impoverished — through providing housing in an elderly people’s home in Haifa.
In the interview, Buehler explained how he first came to Haifa intending to purchase just one apartment as a home for Holocaust survivors, but found himself envisioning an entire building. He then approached people in Germany, America and China and within two weeks, to his surprise, had enough money to purchase an entire building.
“A few months later we could even purchase a second one and today it’s a big center to help Holocaust survivors,” Buehler added.
It seems to be in Buehler’s genes. His grandparents in Germany opposed the Nazi regime and protected a Jewish family. His grandfather publicly criticized the regime and as a consequence had frequent visits from the Gestapo who threatened to put him into a concentration camp.
In 1944 Buehler’s father was drafted into the army and sent to Slovakia. While fighting on the Russian front he was captured and spent four and a half years as a prisoner of war in Russia. There he was sick and malnourished, but received God’s miraculous healing, as well as provision through the help of a Jewish doctor.
Buehler was thus raised with an understanding that he particularly and, indeed, people everywhere, owe their lives to the Jews. He would not be here if that Jewish doctor had not helped his father, who later became a pastor and taught that the Messiah and redeemer of the world was a Jew.
Buehler ended the interview by presenting his dream to “expand the work to such a degree that there is not a single holocaust survivor in this country that still has needs.”