A Plea from Christians . . .
A Plea from Christians
Jews all over the world
commemorated YOM HASHOAH, Holocaust Remembrance Day, on April
30th. But do Christians remember that insane night of death camps,
gas chambers, crematoriums, smokestacks belching the horrible
stench of burnt flesh...that sadistic night during which 6 million
Jews were slaughtered?
The word "holocaust"
primarily denotes a sacrificial offering that is wholly consumed
by fire. Monstrously evil men contrived that diabolical Nazi
ideology—the destruction of the Jewish people is a necessary
sacrifice to solve the economic ills of Germany and Europe. This
Jewish massacre was unprecedented in numbers and purpose. Though
many other people were tragically affected, the Nazi
"solution" was aimed at exterminating a particular
family of man...a single bloodline, a single gene pool. It was
Why are many Christians
uncomfortable that the Jewish community keeps insisting that we
remember something that happened fifty years ago? Some Gentiles
are so disconcerted that they are driven to rewrite history
denying the holocaust ever happened. But their "revisionist
facts" are exploded as fast as they are manufactured. Perhaps
their own latent anti-Semitism motivates them to forget or deny
the Holocaust. After all, who were the actors in that nefarious
Who informed on their Jewish
neighbors? Who charged into Jewish homes...knocked on false
walls...dragged out terrified families? Who pulled the beards of
old men...violated young Jewish women...demeaned poor bewildered
souls in every conceivable way and herded them into cattle cars?
Who stripped innocent crowds of their clothes and their dignity
forced them naked into mass shower rooms and turned on the gas as
pandemonium filled the rooms? Who ordered bodies to be stacked in
huge pyres like cords of wood? Who fired the furnaces? Who were
these predators of human life? For the most part they were
professed Christians who celebrated Christmas, Good Friday and
Easter. On Sunday they worshipped in cathedrals and churches. But
during the week, they engaged in one of the most heinous crimes
ever perpetrated against humanity. Christians must not forget the
Holocaust—because Christians were there too.
The Holocaust is an indictment
of so-called Christian Europe. Both Catholic and Protestant
sociologists observed that the Nazi extermination of six million
Jews was impossible without the active cooperation of the public.
The suppressed Gentile anti-Semitism surfaced in that atmosphere
of self-preservation. Although some Christians objected, thousands
of professed Christians turned informant or cooperated in a
thousand indirect or silent ways.
The Holocaust could have been
stopped. Hitler could have been halted. Hitler would have been
paralyzed if Catholics and Protestants refused to cooperate with
the Nazis. Bible Students in Germany did refuse and suffered the
consequences. Being a small minority, they ended up in prison or
were put to death themselves.
Roots of Anti-Semitism
"We must never
forget," observed Christianity Today (March 9, 1992),
"that anti-Semitism had its roots in the theology and
practice of the Christian church, from the writings of the early
Church Fathers [100-350 C.E.] through the Inquisition, even in the
comments of Martin Luther." The Church Fathers taught that as
"Christ killers," the Jews must be kept in degradation
as living witness to the truth of Christianity. Also the Land of
Israel, they felt, should be rendered a desert and the Jews
forbidden to go to Jerusalem. This was confirmed by Saint Thomas
Aquinas, the most authoritative thinker of the Roman Church. As a
consequence, popes, cardinals, bishops and priests who initiated
anti-Semitic acts saw themselves as carrying out Christian
Hitler told German Bishop
Berning and Monsignor Steinman that he was merely going to do to
the Jews "what the Church had done for 1,500 years."
Hitler also took great satisfaction in quoting Martin Luther's
vicious anti-Semitic statements.
Swiss Catholics Admit Guilt of the Church
Timed to coincide with the 500th
anniversary of the expulsion of Jews from Spain (April, 1992), the
Swiss Catholics issued a nine-page declaration that said in part,
"Through misguided preaching and catechisms, the church
contributed to the creation of the climate that allowed the
murderers of the Nazi regime to carry out their crimes against the
Where was the Indignation of Our Christian
By 1942 leaders of the Christian
West were well aware of the Holocaust. The Vatican was counting on
the Nazis to defeat atheistic Communism, therefore, made no public
outcry (La Popessa,
Paul I. Murphy). The Protestant Churches were little better. Thank
goodness, individual Christians did speak out. But where was the
International Committee of the Red Cross that was supposedly
investigating the Nazi concentration camps? Following a six-year
study of 350,000 Red Cross documents, Swiss Professor Jean Claude
Favez wrote in his book, Silent
Witness, "The ICRC knew what was happening, that is
quite clear. It did not dare confront the Germans." The ICRC
in a statement to the Jerusalem Post (August 31, 1988)
admitted that it could have saved more Jews from the Nazis.
The delayed condemnation and
action of the British and U.S. governments was feeble indeed (The
Abandonment of the Jews, David S. Wyman). Jews were being
brought to death camps by train. The U.S. refused to target any
railroad tracks leading to the death camps while carrying out
bombing missions on nearby areas.
For several years U.S.
newspapers hid the facts of the Holocaust by burying them in small
vague articles in the back of the paper (Beyond
Belief, the American Press and the Coming of the Holocaust,
1933-1945, Deborah Lipstadt).
After promising in 1917 to
provide a national homeland for the Jews in Palestine, Britain in
1939 shut the doors of Palestine to Jewish immigration. Jewish
refugees jammed on dilapidated ships were turned back to the death
camps of Europe or perished at sea.
The American Public
In 1938 four polls showed that
up to 85% of the American public was opposed to increased
immigration quotas which would have allowed Jewish refugees to
escape Nazi Germany. On May 13, 1939, a refugee ship, The St.
Louis, sailed from Europe with 937 Jews—destination Cuba.
Arriving there, they were refused entry. For 36 days The St. Louis
sailed to every port in the free world including the United
States. No room was made for the Jews either in the United States
or anywhere else in the free world. The ship was ordered back to
Germany and the weary cargo to their doom in the death camps. The
U.S. "Closed Door Policy" to the Jews remained
essentially the same for the duration of WW II.
After WW II
As incredible as it might sound,
Nazi war criminal hunters and U.S. government officials claim that
Vatican and International Red Cross representatives aided Nazis
with documents—enabling them to escape to South America. Why?
They hoped they would be useful in the future battle against
Communism. (Department of State, Office of American Republic
Affairs, July 14, 1947, Subject: "Illegal Emigration
Movements in and Through Italy." The New York Times,
Jan. 26, 1986, "Vatican Is Reported to Have Furnished Aid to
While immigration restrictions
were keeping Jewish Holocaust survivors out of the U.S., Nazi war
criminals were given entry in exchange for information on
Communist activity in Eastern Europe (Nazi
War Criminals in America: Facts and Action, Charles R.
Allen: The News Tribune, May 13, 1987; The New York
Times, Jan. 26, 1984). A Department of Justice 1983 report
stated that Klause Barbie, Nazi war criminal, had been employed
and protected by the U.S. intelligence agency.
The annual "Audit of
Anti-Semitic Incidents" in the U.S. for 1991 revealed an 11%
increase over 1990. The nature of these incidents, furthermore,
were more vicious than in the past. Anti-Semitism is increasing
worldwide and is at its highest level since World War II.
Unfortunately, religious bigotry
is the worst bigotry of all. Until the Christian churches modify
their theology that makes the Jew an object of disdain and until
they recognize that the Jewish people have a glorious Divine
destiny separate and distinct from the Christian Church,
anti-Semitism will continue to plague this nation.
The Bible Students' answer to
"Holocaust Revisionists" is personal experience.
Nine-tenths of our Bible Students in Germany were wiped out by the
Nazis. The Holocaust did happen.
Bible Students urge our fellow
Christians to remember that "he that toucheth you [Israel]
toucheth the apple of his (The Almighty's) eye" (Zechariah
2:8). How can we as Christians forget God's unconditional promise
to Abraham, "I will make of thee a great nation...And I will
bless them that bless thee and curse him that curseth thee, and in
thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Genesis
To learn about Bible prophesy
being fulfilled in Israel and our responsibility as Christians,
read the online booklet: The Time to
Favor Zion is Come.