CREDOS:The miracle — I

Fritz Vincken owns a bakery just outside of downtown Honolulu.

He dispenses warmth and a smile along with hot buns and fresh bread to his loyal customers.

Fritz has lived in the Hawaiian islands for a number of years now, and when he first arrived he was enchanted by the kindness and goodwill of the Islands’ people.

When asked, however, he admits that for him, the ideal of aloha was first learned long ago — when he was a lad of twelve.

The setting was on the other side of the world from Hawai’i, on a harsh winter night in the Ardennes Forest near the German-Belgian border.

It was December, and two months had passed since Hubert Vincken brought

his wife and his son Fritz to a small cottage in the Ardennes Forest for their safety.

The family’s home and its eighty-eight-year-old bakery in Aachen (Aix-La-Chapelle) had been destroyed in a bombing raid.

“We were isolated,”

Fritz recalled. “Every three or four days, my father would ride out from town on his bicycle to bring us food. When the snow came, he had to stop.”

His mother was concerned that their food was in very short supply, as the war seemed to be moving closer to their cottage of refuge.

By late December the cottage was no longer out of harm’s way.

German troops surprised and overwhelmed the Allies on December 16, turning the Ardennes Forest into a killing field. —