I, along with others, have written extensively about the influence the priest-prisoners at Concentration Camp Dachau had on the renewal of the (permanent) diaconate by the Second Vatican Council. For those who are not familiar with this history, you might want to check out some of the books listed on my "bookshelf" to the right.
Here's a video in Italian (but with English and Spanish subtitles that gives some of the details).
I think it's important that these kinds of stories remain current in our minds and hearts as we consider what ministry today should look like! We take so many things for granted! And yet, it was from experiences such as these that the dream of a renewed permanent diaconate was brought forth in concrete terms. It was thought, by men like Leisner and Pies, and women like S. Imma, that deacons could help create a world where this kind of madness might no longer exist.
Now, let's talk again about "doing diaconate right."