I recently watched two programs, one a theatrical film, that exemplify the weird, millennia-long sickness of humanity: Jew-hatred.
The first was a Netflix program about German attitudes toward the Holocaust and Nazi philosophy. The emphasis was on former SS officers and enlisted men that were still alive in Germany not many years ago. You’ve seen this type of thing: interviews of old men in their homes or at an outside café; they reminisce about the terrible days of their youth.
In the case of the SS (the wholly evil, elite contingent of fighters that specialized in the extermination of Europe’s Jewish population), 90-year-old men spoke pretty openly about their involvement…until it came time to really accept responsibility. Then and only then, to a man, they fell back on that old lie: “I was only following orders.”
Some denied the heinous crimes took place at all. A couple of the men appeared to come clean and acknowledge the epic horror they took part in. But in the end, they either denied that they knew what was going on in the camps, or they claimed not to have participated in it. But these men were camp guards, frontline troops, etc.! They knew exactly what was happening. So did local residents. You see, since the war, most Germans have claimed that they didn’t know what was happening.
In the most poignant moment, one SS member agreed to meet German youth at the villa actually used in early 1942 to plan the Holocaust, in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee. I will give this one man credit: he passionately argued that what was done was wrong and that it had stained the German people. He spoke from experience.
What did the youth do? Most fidgeted and look either annoyed or indifferent. Several pushed back! They actually told this old SS man that they didn’t feel guilty for what had happened. But let’s make the distinction: obviously they weren’t alive during World War 2. However, they weren’t even willing to accept the fact that the Holocaust forever left a dark stain on Germany. They were arrogant.
Much of this is explained by the famous passage from 2 Timothy 3. The fact is, much of the world has gone cold. No love, no empathy, no remorse for sin.
It is why Israel continues to be besieged by the international community. Recently, a German institute planned an event in Tel Aviv, but the presentation was to claim that the Holocaust was no different from the Palestinian “Nakba,” the “terrible persecution of Arabs” after Israel’s founding. The comparison is grotesque, of course. Under pressure, the group cancelled the event, but the fact that it was a go at all is deeply disturbing.
The film that I saw, 1974’s “The Odessa File,” featured Jon Voight as a German freelance journalist in 1963, who discovers that a Nazi war criminal is operating in the open in Hamburg. When he catches up with the former SS camp commandment, the villain does what they all do: I didn’t participate in the murders, the numbers were inflated, etc.
The world has hated the Jews from the beginning. Remember Abraham’s troubles with the kings in his neighborhood? The mayhem continues to this day.
We must see all this for what it is, though: Endgame. If German youth don’t care about murdered Jews, if Palestinians continue to murder Jews in their ancestral homeland, if Jews are even feeling unsafe in America, the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord cannot be far off.
Let us continue to stand with the Jews no matter what. And to pray fervently for the return of our Lord.