Thursday, November 18, 2010
God's Greatest Miracle
I spent my last day in Babylon at the Holocaust Museum.
I'm glad I was there alone because it isn't your usual slice of Americana exhibit. I'm only ten years removed from WW II, and it isn't as far removed from me as say the Civil War. Two doors away from me where I grew up was a doctor's wife who spoke beautiful Polish, she also had a tattoo on her arm. It wasn't talked about much , but usually the word got out that so-in-so was in the camps. I was taught that the Hun had this propensity and it hovered just below the surface and could rise up at anytime if not held in place by force. It was very convenient to think that this trait was some Germanic genetic aberration as opposed to plain old human nature.
I'm so cynical that I agree with the fellow who said "the question should not be, how can this happen, but rather how come it doesn't happen more often". Poland had a higher percentage of Jews than any other European country in 1930's. It seems that Poland's depth of antisemitism was especially deep, seeing that they had this vibrant minority that at 10 % of the population stood out among the peasant poor majority. I think my Polish grandmother was antisemitic ( my father thought she was Eva Braun herself). Luckily for me my parents had few prejudices.
The roots of antisemitism was really explained well. It is very complex but one character that played a major part was Martin Luther. I was amazed at what I read about old Martin years ago. At last. 10 years ago the Lutheran church has apologized for what flames of antisemitism he ignited during the reformation. The Catholic church and a host of other minor players kept this scapegoat mentality going till the 1930's.
I have read a dozen or so books on the Holocaust and probably a dozen personal memoirs. I am not a scholar but since childhood I always felt the holocaust was a sentinel event in mankind's march to perdition. Some things I've started to realize:
Hitler's antisemitism became rabid after England entered the war. He realized the U.S. would follow England and the war was lost.
Hitler's real goal was to conquer Russia and the Balkans and create an empire similar to England's.
The holocaust was Hitler's third front and actually hastened Germany's defeat.
Next time you're in D.C. take a day and spend it at the Holocaust Museum. It will be better for your spiritual growth than a weekend with Beth Moore. If you are looking for something to increase your faith, just look to God's greatest miracle, the Jews.