“Room Four [the “Death Row” hospital ward of the TB sanitarium/Soviet prison at Tirgul-Ocna, Romania] was the scene of great kindness and humanity. Prisoners from other wards often came to spend the night with us, helping the dying and offering comfort.

At Easter, a friend from his hometown brought a gift wrapped in a piece of paper for Gafencu, the former Iron Guard trooper. “It’s been smuggled in,” he said. “Open it.”

Gafuncu undid the paper to reveal two lumps of a glittering white substance—sugar. None of us had seen sugar for years. Our wasted bodies craved it. All eyes were on Gafencu, and the prize in his hand. Slowly he wrapped it up again.

“I won’t eat it just yet,” he said. “Someone might be worse off than I during the day. But thank you.” He put the present carefully beside his bed, and there it stayed.

A few days later, my fever increased and I became very weak. The sugar was passed from bed to bed until it came to rest on mine.

“It’s a gift,” said Gafencu. I thanked him, but left the sugar untouched in case the next day someone should need it more. When my crisis passed, I gave it to Soteris, the elder of two Greek Communists, whose condition was grave. For two years the sugar went from man to man in Room Four (and twice it returned to me). Each time the sufferer had the strength to resist it.

–Richard Wurmbrand, Christ in the Communist Prisons


  1. Touching and beautiful. Thank you, Heather.

  2. People are amazing. Fabulous story of selfless love.

    Happy Easter to you, Heather. I meant to write you yesterday, but… So, Happy Easter plus one day!

  3. Anonymous says: Reply

    Heather, thank you very much for your last 3 posts. They've made me remind of things happened long ago. I'll keep on saying you've got a very special and sensitive way of revealing facts that may pass unobserved by other people. Thank you. Antonio


Discover more from HEATHER KING

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading