I was in Junior High when I first remember learning of the Holocaust. I didn’t understand it at the time and I didn’t really grasp the horror of it until a few weeks later when I was looking at a magazine. I think it was Life Magazine. I saw several pages of photos of the victims. It was shocking and made me wonder how could anyone do that to anybody, let alone to an entire group of people. I did what a lot of us do when we see something horrible and we’re not quite ready to process it; I set it aside in the back of my mind.
Memories of the initial horror of seeing those holocaust pictures in the late 1960’s were revisited recently when I came across a New York Times article about the holocaust. As horrific as the killing of thousands of innocent Jewish people was, I was sickened to learn in this article that the Nazi’s gathered groups of disabled people and murdered them as well. This was especially hurtful to learn as I’ve long held a special place on my heart for the disabled. My dad was crippled by polio in the early 1950’s, my little brother was born mentally retarded in 1957, and one of our daughters was born with Spina Bifida in 1986.
The holocaust was born out of Adolf Hitlers’s rise to power in Germany. He was a German political leader in the 1930’s who rose to the rank of Fuhrer in the 1940’s German Nazi party. He believed that the Jews were Germany’s enemies, and that they were an inferior race. Full of hate and racism, he sought to get rid of the Jews by killing them, and create a country full of “perfect” people of which he, of course, would be their leader. Interestingly he did all of this while claiming to be a Christian, and denouncing Christianity at the same time. It’s also interesting how he got so many people to follow him.
Thinking about all of this made me wonder if Hitler’s hatred for the Jews may have been fueled by his misguided so-called Christian beliefs. Regardless, whatever Hitler thought and did was wrong on so many levels. His basic beliefs were skewed to say the least. I suspect if he had a Bible he didn’t read it. If he had, he would have learned that that Jesus was born a Jew, lived as a Jew, and died as a Jew. If he’d read the Bible, he would have learned that the Jews weren’t responsible for Jesus’s death on the cross, but all of us. It was all of our sins that nailed Him on the cross:
He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 1 John 2:2
By canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. Colossians 2:14
Secondly, all of us are disabled in some way or another. None of us are perfect; there is no such thing as perfect people or the the perfect race. We all have flaws and imperfections, physically, emotionally, and spiritually; including and especially sin. Anyone who thinks they’re perfect and are constantly seeking perfection, are guilty of the sin of pride whether they realize it or not. Only God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are perfect, and it is not until we receive Jesus in repentance and faith does God change the way He sees us. If Hitler had read the Bible he would known this as well:
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him. Psalm 18:30
Fortunately I’m not Hitler’s nor anyone else’s judge, but the Bible tells us that when we become a believer there should be a change in our life, in the way we think and in the things we do; life before Jesus and life after Jesus, there should be a difference. In John 13:35 Jesus tells of one distinguishing characteristic of the believer:
“By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”