BY DONNA WESTFALL
If you were born of Jewish faith or heritage during the years 1933 to 1945, the chances of your extermination were extremely high. Nazism rose faster than a multi-level marketing scheme. The ideology and practice of the Nazis, especially the policy of racist nationalism, national expansion, and state control of the economy made many people wealthy.
Millions of decent people bought into the evil, diabolical rhetoric of Adolf Hitler like mindless sheep. They allowed not only 6 million Jews, but 5 million others be led to slaughter before WWll came to an end. 11 million people killed; exterminated like cockroaches.
This date of remembrance was chosen by the United Nations because it falls on the anniversary of the liberation in 1945 of the Auschwitz death camp, the Nazis’ most notorious death camp and a symbol of the evil inflicted across the European continent.
The Nazi party are known for their persecution and genocide of Jewish and Polish people, homosexuals, gypsies, and handicapped. They even killed many of the criminals in Nazi Germany as well as Jehovah’s Witnesses,and of course, those caught trying to protect or hide Jews as well. They included groups considered racially undesirable such as Ukrainians and Byelorussians. The dead also included citizens from France, Belgium, Holland, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Italy and Greece.
While there were other concentration and extermination camps, Auschwitz was considered the worst. Their ovens were capable of killing 6,000 people a day. The liberators found seven tons of women’s hair, human teeth, from which gold fillings had been extracted and tens of thousands of children’s outfits.
My first knowledge of Nazi’s came at a young age. I remember loving our friends and neighbors and playing with dozens of children on the block. One family lived behind our home in Los Angeles in our totally integrated neighborhood. My girlfriends’ parents had tattoo’s of numbers on the outer side of their left arm. They didn’t talk much about their experience, but their daughters spoke in hushed tones about their mom and dad surviving Auschwitz. I ran to ask my mother to explain. She did her best at explaining atrocity to a 6 year old child. Those snippets of life helped to instill the foundation for coming to believe in the sanctity of life.
The sixth commandment given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai commands, “THOU SHALT NOT KILL.” The Hebrew word “ratsach” literally means “the intentional, premeditated killing of another person with malice; murder.” God often ordered the Israelites to go to war with other nations (1 Samuel 15:3;Joshua 4:13). God ordered the death penalty for numerous crimes (Exodus 21:12, 15; 22:19;Leviticus 20:11). So, God is not against killing in all circumstances, but only murder. War is never a good thing, but sometimes it is a necessary thing. In a world filled with sinful people (Romans 3:10-18), war is inevitable. Sometimes the only way to keep sinful people from doing great harm to the innocent is by going to war.
For someone like Hitler to rise to power, where one’s heritage could determine life or death results, it’s interesting to recall his own lineage which was very complicated. His father was the illegitimate son of Maria Anna Schicklgruber and she apparently never revealed the identify of the father. It is also remotely possible Adolf Hitler’s grandfather was Jewish. It’s one of the most twisted family trees in history. Ironic isn’t it that the most hated person on earth tried to destroy a people and a culture who’s DNA may have run in his blood?
On this day, our prayers go out to the remaining survivors and their families and friends.
To those who are ignorant about the Holocaust, the odds of history repeating itself grows.
To those who deny the Holocaust, since you didn’t personally watch your family herded like cattle into box cars, homes and belongings confiscated, freedoms stripped away it’s easier to hold on to that denial. I hope you never have to experience having you or your family taken to a place like Auschwitz in Poland, to be tortured through medical experiments, to be starved to death, to be worked to death or to be gassed to death.
Learn from the past.
Honor the past.
Now, what about our American Holocaust? 40 years and 55 million abortions. More on that subject for another day.