Sunday, April 15, 2007

A Day To Remember

According to my calendar, today is Holocaust Memorial Day. This is a day to reflect upon what man can do to his fellow man. This is a day for Christians to reflect on what was one of the church's darkest periods. How a country that once proclaimed Christ could murder six million Jews, whether through active participation or through benign neglect, is a subject the church must come to grips with. To correctly reflect upon this subject, one needs to study history. A good book to begin with is "Our Hands Are Stained With Blood" by Michael Brown. This is a sobering account of Christian anti-semitism. Sometime within the next year I will post articles based upon my rereading of it. There is a danger that many will not only contend that the deathtoll and tales of the treatment of the victims are exaggerations, but are also fabrications. I have met those who deny the Holocaust ever happened. The American General, Dwight Eisenhower, as he inspected the death camps and met the survivors, predicted that this would be the case and made sure that history would never lack evidence of what was perpetrated. He wrote to George Marshall:

"I have never felt able to describe my emotional reaction when I first came face to face with indisputable evidence of Nazi brutality and ruthless disregard of every shred of decency...I visited every nook and cranny of the camp because I felt it my duty to be in a position from then on to testify at first hand about these things in case there ever grew up at home the belief or assumption that the stories of Nazi brutality were just propaganda."

It would be a mistake to think that no western nation would try to erase this episode from history. The recent conference denying the Holocaust sponsored by Irans' president is not to be
dismissed lightly. By denying that the Holocaust ever took place, the Iranian president is attempting to deny the legitimacy of the state of Israel. And many Muslims share his attitude. As the Muslim population grows in Europe, the attempts to rewrite history according to Islamic wishes will be harder to counter. In Britian, some schools are forbidding teachers from teaching about the Holocaust for fear of offending Muslim sensibilities. No doubt, there will be those in the American education establishment who will attempt to go down the same road as their European counterparts. With trends such as these, it is a "no-brainer" why it is important to remember what happened during the Holocaust.

I recently saw an article on the internet about how German Christians respond to the Church's guilt. Every year German Christians travel to Israel to serve the needy and to confess that the German Church did not do enough to stop the Holocaust.

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