Holocaust remembrance and lights in the darkness

Never forget

April 15, 2018 03:41
3 minute read.
Holocaust remembrance and lights in the darkness

Cards are placed between railway tracks in the former Nazi death camp Auschwitz as people take part in the annual "March of the Living" to commemorate the Holocaust, in Oswiecim, Poland, April 12, 2018. . (photo credit: REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL)


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Almost 30 years ago, I was nearly slain by a neo-Nazi white supremacist for standing up for the State of Israel.

On June 30, 1984, I received a life-changing phone call from an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. According to the ATF agent, I had been targeted by Richard Wayne Snell, a member of a white nationalist group called The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord.

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Snell had already brutally murdered a pawnshop owner whom he had (incorrectly) thought was of Jewish decent. He also later killed an African- American police officer in Arkansas. According to a hit list found in Snell’s car, he had named me, a Christian Zionist, his next victim. The list included my name, address, and unlisted phone number. It was a frightening revelation that had incidentally occurred on my birthday.

The day of Snell’s later execution was marked by the horrific bombing that destroyed the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The two men responsible, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, were thought to have plotted the destruction in reprisal for Snell’s capital punishment. It is said that Snell nodded in support of the devastation prior to being led to the death chamber. His last words were addressed to then-Oklahoma governor, Jim Guy Tucker: “Governor Tucker, look over your shoulder, justice is coming. I wouldn’t trade places with you or any of your cronies. Hell has victories. I am at peace.”

As a Christian Zionist, I knew that standing up for Israel meant supporting a righteous and just cause, though I also knew that this neo-Nazi member was not following true Christian values.

I was raised by a Christian father and a Jewish mother and was named after her grandfather, Rabbi Mikel Katznelson. My great-grandfather and 2,000 Jews had been burned to death in their synagogue by the Nazis. It was the same synagogue in which the late Shimon Peres’ grandfather, Rabbi Zvi Meltzer, had also died.

My father strangled me at the age of 11 when I tried to defend my mother from abuse. When I became conscious, I knew my life work would be to defend Jewish people against Jew-haters.

In 1980, I began working closely with Prime Minister Menachem Begin, building relationships between Christian Zionists and Israel, as well as advocating for strong US-Israel relations. I did this by producing a television special based on my book: Israel-America’s Key to Survival.

In 2015, I founded the Friends of Zion Museum with Shimon Peres as its first chairman. Its purpose was to combat antisemitism, and also to help educate people from all backgrounds about the heroic accounts of real Christians throughout history. I wanted to showcase the men and women who believed and fought for the Jewish people and the establishment of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel. I also established the Ten Boom Holocaust Museum in Haarlem, Holland to honor the Dutch family who saved 800 Jews by hiding them in their clock shop. Several family members perished for their efforts to save Jews during World War II.

On the evening of this year’s Holocaust Remembrance Day, the Friends of Zion Museum along with their 39 million social media supporters commemorated the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and the five million non-Jewish victims at the hands of the Nazi regime.


Mike Evans is a #1 New York Times bestselling author with 80 published books. He is the founder of Friends of Zion Museum in Jerusalem of which the late Shimon Peres, Israel’s ninth president, was the chairman.

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