2,711. The number of seven by ten concrete stelaes composing the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Germany. 16.5 Million. The number of annual visitors to the U.S. Holocaust Museum. $321.2 million. The U.S. box office of Schindler ‘s List.
We may be confused about Syria and largely ignorant of the atrocities of Mao Zedong, but for the most part U.S. citizens know about the Holocaust and most of us recognize that Adolf Hitler is one of the recent examples of the embodiment of evil and find the ideology of the Nazi Party repellent.
Books such as Wiesel ‘s Night are best sellers. A Holocaust and / or WWII theme is almost a guaranteed box office hit. Schools include sections on the Holocaust. Due to their affinity and support for the Jewish people and Israel, evangelical Christians show a particular interest.
There is no lack of information about what happened in Germany eight decades ago.
And when we say, “Never Again” we are saying we will never let something like that happen again.
That’s a lie.
It could happen again tomorrow, and not in Europe, but here in the United States of America.
It Could Happen Here
It could happen again. It could happen here.
Even though we know much about the Holocaust, there is much ignorance in key areas.
We seem to have this idea that the horror of the Holocaust happened because of some endemic defect found in the German people.
That is not true. German society of the mid-twentieth century was highly educated. It was a sophisticated culture which had been known as home to leading philosophers, statesmen, and composers for centuries. It was the primary seat of Protestant theological thought.
Few realize that Hitler did not gain control of Germany through a coup, but through a democratic vote in the Reichstag, the German legislative body. They signed over power to him.
Going Along to Get Along
How could the Holocaust happen in a democratic Republic in a Christian nation?
The same way every other corrupt person gets away with their wrong . . . Good people say nothing.
They turn a blind eye to wrong because opposing is too hard.
They say nothing because it might cause problems in their jobs, their business, or their social circle.
They say, “it’s not my problem, there is nothing I can do.”
It Gets Worse
That is how it begins, but it gets worse.
It begins with cowardice and lack of moral fortitude. It progresses to personal corruption.
Everyone else is doing it, so why not them?
It’s going to happen anyway, so why not benefit from it if you can?
The Selling of a Soul
Once one participates, the inner turmoil amps up. The Holy Spirit begins to convict; but rather than respond and repent, the self justification begins. “Reasons” are found and wrong is called right.
The German people enabled and became complicit in Hitler’s atrocities in the same way judges are bribed to let the guilty go free, politicians sell influence, and government officials take kick-backs to award contracts.
They go along to get along . . . and take a little something for themselves along the way.
Cowardice and greed lead to every kind of evil. It is just a matter of degree.