The First Nazi Holocaust

Many people do not know that the first victims of the Nazi Holocaust were not the Jews (which started primarily in 1942) but the mentally and physically handicapped. It started with the decision to kill physically deformed newborns and small children in 1939. A group of “experts” were formed, operating under the name of “Reich Committee for the Scientific Registration of Major Genetic and Congenital Suffering” to put together a child “euthanasia program. It only took a few months for the child “euthanasia” program to be expanded into a comprehensive program for murdering audit patients at medical institutions. A bureaucratic apparatus was built up known as the “Reich Working Association of Hospitals and Care Facilities” to disguise the true nature of the program. Patients were transferred to killing centers by the “Charitable Patient Transport PLC.” From the start of the operation until August 1941, 70,000 sick and disabled people were murdered in gas chambers disguised as showering facilities.

Over the course of the spring and summer of 1941, within the midst of World War II, rumors about the mass murder of hospital patients had continued to spread and created significant unease within the German public. On August 3, in a sermon, Bishop of Munster, Count Clemens August von Galen, publicly condemned the killings of thousands of innocent people in these programs. He stated that, if accepted, it would give the government the right to kill any “unproductive” fellow human beings including the incurably sick, invalids, and all who become old, weak or unproductive. The sermon created a stir among the German people as the text of it was illegally disseminated both inside and outside of Germany. Three weeks later Hitler ordered a halt to the systematic “euthanasia” operations, although the Nazis continued to murder medically handicapped persons with medicine in secret with the total number of deaths reaching around 200,000.

Sadly, von Galen refused to speak out against the persecution of the Jews he saw around him due to their rejection of Christianity and supported the Nazis in general due to his long-time nationalist sympathies. Even so, he was put under house arrest by the Nazis until the end of the war with plans by the Nazis to kill him after successful completion of the war (they felt he was too popular with the people to do it beforehand).

Despite his moral failings, his denunciation of the “euthanasia” program, shining light on the murder of innocents, caused the German people to object to this policy sufficient for the Nazi’s to pull back on the program. This reminds us of our responsibility to speak out against the murder of innocent babies in the womb right up to and beyond the date of death. Oh for more Christians in America to get up in the pulpit and elsewhere and loudly and clearly present these abortions as the wickedness they are – especially the late term abortions. It may well be more tolerable in the Day of Judgement for the German people living during the Nazi time than it is for the American people living during this time if we do not advocate strongly for elimination of wickednesses in our country such as abortion.

The Only Refuge

“Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea….” Yeshua was not afraid of death and was willing to be tortured and abused for you, I and the entire congregation of Believers. Shall we lose hope in God’s victory over evil, the enemy, even death in the end. Our time on earth is not guaranteed to be eighty or so years, but all are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment. (Hebrews 9:27). Every Believer has hope in the afterlife and salvation before the judgment seat of Christ, Yeshua, the one who paid our price. Moreover, our treasure is secure in Heaven, our true home. 

There is much to do in this life to accomplish God’s calling, destiny and purposes. The Ministry of Yeshua was only three years and He fulfilled prophecy, revealed God in the flesh and bought salvation for Israel and the nations. We do not necessarily or always see our part in this Kingdom expansion; the work of sanctification, justification or redemption that God accomplishes by His Spirit through us, but rest assured He is able to do more than we could ask or imagine. All glory belongs to God. “Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying: ‘To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be praise and honor and glory and power, for ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13). 

I’m convinced that keeping our eyes and heart on Yeshua is the only way to maintain peace in this wicked and turbulent world. The election has been disturbing to many and the outcome may be disturbing further. I wouldn’t say that Germany’s emergence before WWII is similar in all respects with our election, but Hitler stole the election and power through evil means. I’m not comparing either Trump or Biden with Hitler, what may be a comparison in the future is the reaction of the American people to the changes that may be coming and are being promoted by powerful forces in the media, politicians, large corporations and academia. To illustrate the German populace either conformed to Nazi programs or opposed them and went into exile or prison. When it was all over, many ordinary people questioned how they had succumbed to such evil and wicked ideals. The future is not something we can sit on the sidelines and watch as it plays out. As with all things we will be faced with a choice, sooner or later, to follow men or obey God. For Believers it will be more important than ever to know the voice of our Lord and Shepherd, the Holy Spirit and the word of God. There is no plan or formula upon which to rely because our paths, assignments, callings, and gifts are all different, but we have a person who is an ever present help in time of need. Now is a good time to cultivate a robust prayer life and there is probably nothing more effective or powerful we can do, today.

Yeshua’s Church

This is a sad truth, in history there have been churches that accepted tyranny, evil, and wickedness in opposition to Yeshua. Apostate refers to a person or group who renounces a religious belief. The teaching of Yeshua should be accepted by His followers, to side with the world’s beliefs rather than God’s word is to betray Yeshua’s teaching. Before WW2 the German church accepted Hitler and his Nazi edicts, this was Apostasy, even if the leaders claimed they did not know of the death camps, there was no denying that Hitler was evil. Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a leader in the German church who saw the evil of Hitler and refused to be disobedient to Yeshua. The Russian Orthodox church later became apostate by accepting communists murder of fifty million Russians who chose not to worship the State above God. In America there is an Apostate church that accepts the world’s perverted detestable behavior and substitutes man’s reason for God’s truth, seeking the approval of men before that of God. 

It is not our place to judge individuals in the church, but rather we are to pray that God will restore them to Himself. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death. There is a sin that leads to death. I am not saying that you should pray about that.” (1 John 5:14-16). In John’s Revelation chapter two and three Yeshua judges the seven Churches, and we must take heed, because we are members of His Church. He is the Lord of all Believers and He holds us in His all powerful, loving hands, but we must submit ourselves to His rule and the Spirit’s leading. With respect to praying for our fellow believers, Daniel was a great example for us in this regard, he said, “While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill—while I was still in prayer,….”. (Daniel 9:20-21). We see that Daniel interceded for the sin of his people Israel. Our natural inclination is to condemn, criticize, and denounce those who fail to follow Yeshua wholeheartedly, but our first effort in their reclamation should be intercession, and that after recognizing our own sin as well.

Just as there are serious failures of certain churches in history, there have been many great testimonies of victory and faithfulness. Moreover, every nation that has followed Yeshua diligently has found favor and blessing, England and America are two examples. Part of that blessing is to share with others. Also, as Believers we have a priestly calling for intercession and sharing the Good News of Yeshua with the world. John says, “Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.” (Revelation 1:4-6)

Lord, Yeshua (Jesus’ Hebrew name) forgive us for our fear of man and failure to stand with you and upon your word. You gave yourself for us and we owe all to you. Send your Holy Spirit upon your congregation of Believers to turn our hearts back to you so that we may be unified, wholly obedient to your word and lordship. In these last days, distinguish us from the world and show yourself powerfully through your Congregation of Believers.

Over There

On November 11, at the World War I Armistice Day centennial observance, French President Emmanuel Macron stated that “Patriotism is the exact opposite of nationalism: Nationalism is treason.”  He went on to say that “If we think our interests may only come first and we don’t care for others, it is treason of our values, a betrayal of all moral values”.  He lamented that a renewed spirit of nationalism, brought on by the harsh terms imposed on Germany after World War I, led to World War II.

This globalist view of the world is misguided.  Rising nationalism in Germany between the world wars was not the reason for World War II.  Nationalism was always strong in Germany, a common characteristic of the German people at that time.  However, one of the most important reasons for World War II was the way World War I ended.  Germany asked for and was granted an armistice after being starved by the Allied blockade and due to general war weariness of its population.  At the time of the armistice, Germany had conquered one of the Allies, Russia on the Eastern front, and was still occupying part of France on the Western front after almost winning the war with a last push towards Paris a few months earlier.

Germany expected to negotiate a fair treaty with the Allies after the armistice as up to that time it had fared somewhat better than the Allies in the war.  Instead, led by the French and British, Germany was presented with an ultimatum, the Versailles Treaty, which called for very harsh terms.  Representatives from Germany had been excluded from the peace conference, with the Allies dictating the terms, although arguably Germany was in almost as good a position at war’s end as the Allies and could have expected to at least to go back to a position similar to the start of the war. Instead, Germany was required to forfeit a great deal of territory and pay impossibly heavy reparations. Even worse, the infamous Article 231 forced Germany to accept sole blame for the war even though each side had some responsibility for its start.  The German people were deeply frustrated and disillusioned by the treaty.  It was a bitter pill for them to swallow but they had to as they had already backed down from a war footing and Communist revolutions were beginning in their country.  The Treaty led directly to the rise of Hitler in subsequent years and World War II.

Nationalism did not start World War II.  Hitler wanted to conquer all of Europe and beyond to bring all countries under Nazi control.   Nationalism has nothing to do with attacking and subjugating other countries.  Indeed, it is about protecting a country’s culture and interests from the control or influence of other countries and in general putting its interests first.  It is a protectionist rather than an expansionist view.

France and the Allies bear some responsibility for World War II due to its greed and dishonest dealings with Germany after World War I and this is widely recognized today.  However,  most of the responsibility rests with Germany itself which chose to follow Hitler and, even after peaceably winning back most of the territory taken from it in World War II through negotiation, subsequently went on to invade other countries to conquer and impose their Nazi government on them.

President Macron’s assertion that nationalism is treason is foolish on its face.  While it is true we should always treat other countries fairly and justly, it is natural for a country to want to protect its interests first.  Being nationalistic does not mean a country cannot be a good neighbor, care about other countries and help them whenever needed, and certainly America has been a great help to the world over the years.  Nationalism has nothing to do with treason or betrayal.  An example of treason/betrayal is France surrendering to Germany prematurely during World War II when it still had a significant army and resources to continue the war and then setting up the Vichy French government that cooperated with the Nazis including sending Jews to their death.  Oh, that France could have been more nationalistic rather than cooperationist then.

God separated us into different Peoples at the Tower of Babel for good reason.  We would create too much mischief united.  With separate nations, each looking to its own interests as well as being considerate of its fellow countries, we can have an America to bail out a France from a Nazi conqueror.

 

Inside The Third Reich

Obersalzberg, Albert Speer, Adolf HitlerWhen I was in the seventh grade, around 1972, my English teacher handed out a book club flyer to encourage us to do some extra reading outside the normal reading assignments.  I was already an enthusiastic reader of books, mainly on history subjects, but rarely found any subject matter I liked in these book flyers.  However, this time I saw a new book that had just been published called, Inside The Third Reich, by Albert Speer.  I decided to order it and was engrossed in it from the start.  In fact, it is still one of the best books I have read and one of the few that I still keep a hard copy (as there is no electronic copy available).

Speer was Hitler’s favorite architect and was commissioned by Hitler to rebuild Berlin in megalomaniacal style.  Every building planned was extremely oversized and grandiose, meant to show the power and prestige of Germany after the planned conquering of Europe.  The planned Grand Dome, insisted on by Hitler, would have seated 180,000 people indoors, but was not practical.  Speer speculated that during the winter, the breathing and perspiration of more than 100,000 people inside such a large closed space might result in clouds forming and rain indoors.  Further the soft soil of the Berlin area would have had trouble supporting it.  Only a small amount of the Berlin rebuilding was actually begun before the war when it had to be stopped.  A Reich Chancellery was built but destroyed during and after the war.  Germany’s defeat in World War II insured Hitler’s plans would never be fulfilled.  As Hitler was a frustrated artist/architect himself, he grew close to Speer for a time as they would regularly review models of the new Germania (the name for the rebuilt Berlin) even up to the last few weeks of the war as the Allies closed in on Hitler’s bunker.  Speer said if Hitler had a friend, he would have been it.

During the war, after Hitler’s first armaments minister was killed in an air crash and with his building projects suspended, Speer was appointed to be the armaments minister.  He displayed a remarkable ability and greatly increased armaments production even in the midst of Allied bombing destroying much of Germany’s infrastructure.  Speer always had a natural ability at organizing people and projects.  He became very powerful and for a time was considered Hitler’s likely successor.  Later in the war, Speer lost some favor with Hitler as he tried to tell him some hard truths about Germany’s faltering war economy and other persons close to Hitler conspired against him.

At the war’s end, Speer was tried as one of the major Nazi war criminals at Nuremberg and given a 20 year sentence.  The sentence was mostly for using slave labor in his armaments work who were treated very badly with many dying of starvation and disease.  Speer used a clever defense at trial (also presented in the book) where he asserts that while he knew nothing of the Holocaust there was enough circumstantial evidence around him that he should have asked more questions and discovered it and therefore considered himself guilty of the crimes.  His recognition of guilt went a long way in sparing him the death penalty which most of the principal Nazi defendants received.  Released from prison in 1967, he published this book and later died in 1981 of natural causes.  After his death information came to light that he was lying, or in denial, and had known of the killing of the Jews although he did not directly participate.

This book was a fascinating read showing how Speer’s ambition could cause him to look the other way at much evil to gain prominence and power.  The book is also interesting in showing one of the best available portraits of Hitler, who could at times be kind, considerate, inspiring and engaging while at the same time committing great evil against the Jews and others.  Today, the only practical thing that is left in Berlin of all of the grandiose building projects of Hitler and Speer are some streetlights.  The book is a great illustration of Thomas Kempis famous saying that “man proposes but God disposes.”

 

Noble-Ness

bereans-searching-scriptureNoble is used in the Bible several times, yet the single reference I remember first is of the Berean Jews.  “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. (Acts 17:11).  It is a noble and virtuous characteristic to verify whether what is heard is true, by testing it against scripture.  Here for example, is a statement made by a famous person.  Does it stand the test of a noble verification?

“In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I  read through the passage which tells… Continue reading