|He chose to serve - 2003|
Was Denes Fulop a terrorist?
In 1959, Denes Fulop was one of hundreds swept up in massive arrests of pastors, students, and others labeled enemies of the state. He was beaten, interrogated, tried twice, and sentenced to 11 years in prison to be followed by 10 more years under government control. He spent one year in the prison and three years at a the Danube Delta. He was released in 1963 because of pressure from the U.S. government, but remained under government control for several years.
So What About Richard Wurmbrand?
Denes illustrated Wurmbrand's character with this story. In the Romanian prisons, conditions were especially harsh for political prisoners. It didn't take many weeks for them to be reduced to skin and bones. Denes, like others fed just enough slop to stay alive, soon was in the same state. Everyone was always hungry and longed for home, remembering the scent of roasting pork in their mothers' kitchens.
Richard Wurmbrand, however, never participated in these sessions. Instead, each week he gave his dinner to the person who was suffering the most. Denes wondered how Wurmbrand, a large-boned man, could do such a thing and asked, “How can you do this when you yourself are skinny and starving?” Wurmbrand answered, “You can survive forced hunger by choosing voluntarily to be hungry.” Denes watched and copied Wurmbrand, no longer talking about food or complaining about hunger. And he found the near starvation endurable.
Pastor Fulop wondered how and why Richard Wurmbrand was known so differently in the United States than among Christians in Romania. So did I.