I’ve been reading a good deal about the Rise of Nazi Germany and its connection to the creation of the Jewish state of Israel a decade later. My newest literary journey started with the purchase of Exodus, by Leon Uris through a special BookBub promotion. That book was okay, but it compares unfavorably with the Zion Covenant Series by Brock and Bodie Thoene that I read years ago. So I’m picking my way through the series again. Both are works of historical fiction, but I’ve been looking up the characters and events as I go, investigating into the truth behind the fictionalized accounts. Both have proven extremely accurate. I also picked up the first of Winston Churchill’s Nobel-winning non-fiction series about the Second World War.
Once again I am amazed at Hitler’s diabolical brilliance and his utter contempt for human life. His corrupt policies brought about the death of millions of people. In the Thoene series, I’m just at the account of Kristallnacht, the “spontaneous” reprisals to the murder of a Nazi by a Jew. I’ve found no documentation to verify that Kristallnacht was planned, but it was so meticulously organized and so swiftly executed that few believe otherwise. Even the murder appears contrived, as the victim was suspected of disloyalty within the party. Hitler often played the masses with such schemes, getting exactly the responses he hoped for, from hatred and violence of the German people to fearful appeasement by foreign powers. That fateful night in 1938 violence against Jewish citizens and Jewish property rocked the whole of the Reich. Synagogues were burned, Jewish shops were destroyed and looted, thousands of arrests were made, and many were murdered. It happened decades ago, yet it still makes me cringe. It still makes me weep.
If you’ve looked my blog over at all, you’ll see I have a love and curiosity for things Jewish. They are the people through whom God chose to send his Redeemer. As a Christian, I feel a strong tie to them. They are the tree to which I am “grafted” through faith. Christianity grew up from Jewish origins. I enjoy studying their culture, traditions, and history. I try to understand the scripture through the people to whom it was first revealed. After all, Christ was a Jew ministering to Jews. With such a perspective, I am saddened by the fact that the majority of Jews have missed their own Messiah. And I’m horrified by the way they’ve been treated throughout history, often by evil men who claim Christianity but could in no way have known Christ.
After responding to the holocaust with grief, my second reaction is always wondering if it could ever happen again. I’d like to think not, but men haven’t changed. Perhaps that generation learned a lesson, but new generations arise all the time, minus the wisdom their forebears gained with experience. That’s why history always repeats itself. Sons, like their fathers, are fallen.
So could something of this magnitude happen here in America? We don’t have the same political climate as Germany did after WWI. They were crushed, defeated. They suffered from an overwhelming sense of failure and from severe economic reprisals inflicted on them by the Allies for causing the Great War. They were ripe for Hitler’s picking, for his soothing of their pride and his promises of grandeur and power for the Aryan race. But how did it happen? Quite simply, through the erosion of morality.
John Adams once said democracy can only work for a righteous people. A self-monitoring people. America has ceased to be that. Our government has eroded. Our society has eroded. Our work ethic has eroded. Our schools have eroded. Our families have eroded. Our values have eroded. All because belief in the full authority and infallibility of God’s word has eroded. America is in an immoral state.
Could such violence and intolerance happen here? I’m not predicting an outbreak or a target, but yes, it absolutely could. At our core, Americans are no different than Germans.