The image is from https://www.hiteshkumar.com/culture-travel/big-tree-hollow.html
Roddick was a British prisoner of war in WWII. Like many prisoners of war, he was sent to a German concentration camp.
There were nearly a thousand prisoners of war in the camp, all British. They were forced to endure inhuman treatment and do brutally hard work.
Luckily, Roddick was a driver in the British army. The Nazi soldiers in the German concentration camp were short of drivers, so they recruited them from the prisoners of war in the concentration camp.
Of course, there were plenty of drivers among the prisoners of war, but no one wanted to drive for the Nazis. After all, the purpose of driving such vehicles was to transport the corpses of the men who had been killed by the Nazis.
Roddick, however, was enthusiastic about this idea and said that he was happy to do it.
Roddick became a Nazi chauffeur and began to treat others brutally. Not only did he yell and kick the prisoners, he even threw prisoners on the bus who had not yet died.
Obviously, the other prisoners of war hated him very much and expressed this to Roddick in various ways. Roddick ignored them. The prisoners of war scolded him and called him a traitor and a lackey.
The Nazis’ liked and trusted Roddick more and more. At first, when Roddick drove out of the camp, Nazi soldiers would escort him and monitor his movements. After a while, they allowed him to drive out alone. Roddick’s comrades also attacked him in secret, and several times he was nearly killed by his former comrades.
After a frenzied beating, Roddick lost his hand. As he was no longer able to drive, he was abandoned by the Nazis like a torn sack.
Without the protection of the Nazis, Roddick fell victim to the relentless revenge of the other prisoners of war. One rainy day, he died in a damp corner of the concentration camp, lonely and miserable.
Sixty years passed, and the people in Roddick’s hometown seem to have forgotten him. The members of his family deliberately avoided everything about him.
However, one day, a popular UK newspaper featured an article titled “The man who saved me is the man I hate the most.” It disclosed the following information:
“There was a traitor named Roddick in the concentration camp who was willing to work for the Nazis. One day, when I was very sick, he forcibly threw me into the truck and told the Nazis that he was going to bury me, even though I was still alive.
To my shock, Roddick stopped the bus on the way to the burial ground and carried me to the shelter of a big tree. He left some black bread and a pitcher of water behind, and hurriedly said to me, ‘If you live, please come and see this tree.’ Then he drove off in a hurry.”
Not long after this story was published, the newspaper began to receive many phone calls. All of the callers were World War II veterans who had been imprisoned with Roddick.
Almost all the stories told by these twelve men were ideal to the one in the newspaper: They had been left under a big tree by Roddick, thereby escaping death.
Every time, when Roddick drove away, he would say to his comrades: “If you are alive after the war, please come and see this tree.”
The man who edited and promoted this article was also a war veteran. His professional instincts for identifying a story told him that there must be something in Roddick’s tree.
The editor immediately gathered thirteen veterans to help him find the tree if it still existed. When the party arrived at their destination, they discovered that nothing about the valley and its trees had changed. An old soldier was the first to embrace the tree, sobbing. With only a bit of searching, he found a rusty iron box in the hollow of the tree.
When the box was opened, it was found to contain a damaged diary and many yellowed and moldy photographs.
They opened the diary carefully and read:
Today I rescued another comrade. This is the 28th. I hope he lives. . . We lost 20 more of our men today. . . Late last night, my comrades beat me hard again. . . But I must carry on and not tell the truth at all costs so that I can save more people. . . My dear comrades, I have only one hope. If you are alive, please come and see this tree.
The old editor’s voice became too choked to read anymore. It was only then that every man standing underneath the tree became fully aware that Roddick had saved the lives of thirty-six British prisoners of war.
It is unknown how many of the men Roddick saved are still alive, although it is probable that it is more than thirteen. The diary and photos of the prison camp he left in the tree hollow were solid evidence that he left for the world to expose the evils of the Nazis. Soon after the box was found, the editor’s newspaper began to publish more stories about Roddick.
The silent valley and one particular tree became a popular spot for visitors. Many people came there to pay tribute to Roddick, who became a national hero.
One writer who came to the valley placed a bouquet of wildflowers on the simple monument which had been erected there. He sat beneath the tree for a long time. Afterwards, he wrote a paragraph about what he had learned from Roddick in one of his books. He said that he has the responsibility to tell people that he realized that perfection requires a price. Such a price can never be paid without perseverance and tolerance.
Everyone wants perfection; they just may not be willing to undergo the trials to achieve it.
今天我又救出了一位战友，这已经是第28个了． ． ．但愿他能活下去． ． ．今天又有20位战友死去． ． ．昨天深夜，战友们又一次狠狠的打了我． ． ．可我一定要坚持下去，无论如何也不说出真相，那样，我还能救出更多的人． ． ．亲爱的战友们，我只有一个唯一的希望，如果你活着，请来看看这棵树。