While Australia has many heroes â especially sporting figures and movie stars â perhaps the greatest hero to arise from Australia in recent times has been totally overlooked by our secular, leftist media. I refer to Dr Fred Schwarz, who died earlier this week at age 96.
Schwarz was a successful medical doctor originally from Brisbane. He left a successful medical practice in Sydney, although with a young family, to devote his whole attention to warning people about the dangers of atheistic communism.
Born in 1913, he accepted Christ as his personal saviour in 1934. In the mid 1940s he began his medical work. He combined this with active Christian work, and also became aware of the threat of Communism during this period. He soon was reading everything he could find on the topic, especially the source materials.
Each night he devoured the works of the founders of Communism. Thus his wife Lillian would quip that she often found four men in her bed: Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Fred. He soon was debating leading Australian Communists.
He became aware that most Christians were clueless as to the menace of totalitarian Marxism, and he dedicated his life to educating the public, and the church, about these dangers. He was invited to speak in America in 1950. He was urged to form an organisation dedicated to instructing people about the Communist threat, and how it is the polar opposite of Biblical Christianity.
In 1953 he established the Christian Anti-Communist Crusade (CACC). He closed his Sydney medical practice in 1955 and devoted the rest of his life to this project, moving to America to fully engage in the work. In 1960 his best-selling book was published, You Can Trust The Communists (to be Communists).
I picked up a secondhand copy of this book in Madison, Wisconsin in the mid-80s. He said this in the book, "In the battle against Communism, there is no substitute for accurate, specific knowledge. Ignorance is evil and paralytic."
This book and this ministry were profoundly influential. They influenced a generation of Americans who would do battle against the Communist foe. These include such luminaries as Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley, Jack Kemp, James Jobson and James Kennedy.
Schwarz had countless debates with Communists, gave countless speeches and talks on the subject, and wrote countless articles, booklets and books on the topic. His life was energetic, passionate, and committed to standing up for biblical Christianity, and warning against the Marxist evils.
When asked which was more dangerous, the external or internal threat of Communism, Fred would reply, "If you were on a ship that was sinking, which would be the greatest danger, the water outside or the water inside? I was illustrating that the external and internal forces were manifestations of the same danger."
And the dangers were very real indeed. In one of his first pamphlets Schwarz argued that Communism is a disease: "Communism has already killed many millions of people and proposes to kill many millions more. Therefore, by definition, it is a disease. It is a threefold disease. It is a disease of the body, because it kills; it is a disease of the mind, because it is associated with systemized delusions not susceptible to rational argument; and it is a disease of the spirit, because it denies God, materializes man, robs him of spirit and soul, and, in the last analysis, even of the mind itself, and reduces him to the level of a beast of the field."
And even though atheistic, Schwarz could clearly see that it was a religion, albeit a false religion, and the main contender against Christianity. He noted that many ex-Communists have spoken of the religious nature of Communism.
When people charged Schwarz with bias, he confessed: "I plead guilty. We are biased in favour of truth, freedom, and life; we are against deceit, slavery, and unnecessary death. We believe that Communism leads to classicide through the liquidation of the bourgeoisie, that it leads to the justification and practice of mass murder."
But, critics will complain, what about the good of Communism? "In rebuttal I explained that a pathologist is a specialist in the characteristics of a disease, not health, and that a mixture of good and evil is often more deadly than an undiluted evil."
The complete and incredible story of this modern prophet is told in his autobiography, Beating the Unbeatable Foe (Regnery, 1996). This 600-page story is an inspiring read, and shows us the dedication, zeal and perseverance of this one amazing individual.
It tells of the waves of opposition, not just from the Communists and the Soviet Union, but from leftist, liberal allies and "useful idiots," to use Lenin's phrase. The lies, deceit, slander, and malicious attacks on Dr Schwarz were relentless and are mind-boggling to read about. Yet despite all this incessant opposition and attack, he remained steadfast to his calling.
The book also speaks about how the Christian churches were especially targeted by the Communists. Internal subversion was an important tactic of the Communists. And many churchmen of course were completely taken in by the Communist propaganda.
One notable thing that struck me as I read this book was that a very similar battle is being waged today, and there is a similar need for accurate information to withstand a vicious enemy. I refer to militant Islam, and the war it is waging against the free West. The parallels between its internal and external attacks are so close to what we found in the Communist offensive.
And in the same way today many Christians are completely ignorant of the threat to the Christian church, or are being duped by various "peace" initiatives and interfaith endeavours. In the same way that many believers were hoodwinked by the Communists last century, many believers today are being deceived by the Islamists and their interfaith supporters.
Dr Schwarz eventually returned to Sydney where he has now finally received his eternal reward. This man was a modern-day saint, a genuine prophet, and a tireless worker for Christ and his Kingdom. He achieved more in his lifetime than most people ever will.
Yet incredibly I still cannot find any news of his death, or any obituaries or eulogies about this remarkable man. Like Jesus, he was certainly a prophet without honour in his own land. But his life and work deserve to be widely heralded. And if no one else will, I most certainly will. God bless you richly Fred Schwarz.