Friday, August 6, 2010

More Random Thoughts

When we read of the atrocities committed in Europe by the Nazi regime, “shocking” is hardly a sufficient word. I am amazed at how a sophisticated culture could move so easily into barbarism – that is, until I remember the doctrine if human depravity.

What does Nazism teach us? It should be obvious, but read this section from Evan’s The Third Reich at War. It is a personal account from a member of the dreaded Einsatzgruppe (caution: sensitive readers may want to skip this. It is graphic):

The Jews had to lie face down on the earth by the ravine walls. There were three groups of marksmen down at the bottom of the ravine, each made up of about twelve men. Groups of Jews were sent own to each of these execution squads simultaneously. Each successive group of Jews had to lie down on top of the bodies of those that had already been shot. The marksmen stood behind the Jews and killed them with a shot in the neck. I still recall the complete terror of the Jews when they first caught sight of the bodies as they reached the top edge of the ravine. Many Jews cried out in terror. It’s almost impossible to image what nerves of steel it took to carry out that dirty work down there. It was horrible… I had to spend the whole morning down at the ravine. For some of the time I had to shoot continuously (p.227).

This occurred not in some foggy medieval past, but in 1941. When I read these accounts, I substitute the word “Christian” for “Jew.” You could easily substitute any group for the Jews. If something so barbaric could occur in modern day western civilization a mere 69 years ago, there is no reason to think that that it could not happen again. Who will be the next group of people subjected to this kind of treatment, and who will be the persecutors?

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