Lessons for Holocaust Day
The Jews are the world’s canary in the mine.

"March of the Living" at Birkenau concentration camp, April 8, 2013


Dennis Prager

The complex truth is this:

a) Nearly 2,000 years of European Christian anti-Semitism — including from Martin Luther — rendered the Jew an outcast and thereby laid much of the groundwork for the acceptance of Nazi demonization of the Jews.

b) But no Christian institution or theology ever called for the extermination of the Jews. It took the secular shattering of the Christian conscience to accomplish that. This was prophesied a hundred years before Hitler’s rise, in 1834, by the great German poet, Heinrich Heine, who was a secular Jew:

Christianity — and that is its greatest merit — has somewhat mitigated that brutal German love of war, but it could not destroy it. Should that subduing talisman, the Cross, be shattered, the frenzied madness of the ancient warriors, that insane Berserk rage of which Nordic bards have spoken and sung so often, will once more burst into flame. This talisman [the cross] is fragile, and the day will come when it will collapse miserably. Then . . . a play will be performed in Germany which will make the French Revolution look like an innocent idyll.

European Christianity has much to atone for (and it has). But the collapse of Christianity should frighten every decent person. In Europe, it was first succeeded by fascism, Communism, and Nazism, and then by a soulless and morally confused secularism. What will succeed it in America?


6. Secular education has proved morally worthless.

Professor Peter Merkl of the University of California at Santa Barbara studied 581 Nazis and found that Germans with a high-school education “or even university study” were more likely to be anti-Semitic than those with less education (Political Violence under the Swastika, Princeton University Press).

A study of the makeup of 24 leaders of Einsatzgruppen, the mobile killing units that killed nearly 2 million Jews prior to the use of gas chambers, showed that the great majority were highly educated: “One of the most striking things about the Einsatzgruppen leadership makeup is the prevalence of educated people, professionals, especially lawyers, Ph.D.’s. . . . ” (Irving Greenberg, in Auschwitz: Beginning of a New Era? Ktav Press).

6. Pacifists in moral societies are morally worthless.

No Nazi death camp was liberated by pacifists or peace activists. Every camp was liberated by a soldier who either killed or helped others kill.


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