Anna and her twin Hermann Scheipers were born in Germany on July 24, 1913.
Once they grew up, Hermann became a reverend. As the Nazis invaded Poland, they sent back many Poles to perform forced labor. Hermann did what he could for them, like setting up Pastoral care and finding a translator. The Mayor of Hubertusburg, the place where Hermann lived, turned him in to the Nazis, even though what he did was not explicitly illegal. So, in 1940 Hermann was arrested by the SS and sent to Auschwitz.
After two terrible years at Dachau, in July 1942, Hermann collapsed while working at Auschwitz, and was sent to the “invalid block”. Going to the invalid block truly just meant that you are marked to be killed soon.
A month later, in August 1942, Hermann’s sister Anna got and decoded a secret message. She found it was a cry for help from her twin brother Hermann! They found ways to have short, illegal meetings and Anna determined a plan. She went to the SS Reich Security Office in Berlin, and there boldly stood up for her brother, and all the priests. She told Dr. Bernsdorf, the Gestapo in charge, that Muensterland was in turmoil because members of the clergy were murdered in the Dachau Concentration Camp.
Providentially, she received an unprecedented promise. Dr. Bernsdorf was so amazed by her self-confident attitude that not only did he return Hermann Scheipers to the regular block, but he stopped all the priests from going to the gas chambers from that time on.
He stayed there another 3 years, wherein Hermann would smuggle bread and wine to the priests -especially Polish priests- who were being arbitrarily punished so they could perform religious services. In 1945 Hermann escaped during a forced death-march of the Dachau KZ inmates, which the Nazis instigated because they were losing, and didn’t want any survivors left.
We can learn a lot from these examples. For example, Hermann was not afraid of doing the right thing by helping the Poles. Even though he could have been killed for it, and got severely punished for it, he still continued to serve and help. Anna stood up against people who had the power to imprison or kill her in an instant, but was able to persevere and act confident. Because she stood up bravely, she saved many lives. I hope we can all follow them, and stand up for those who may be attacked or in trouble.