I spent a good chunk of the day yesterday watching several hours of a documentary on Auschwitz on the American Heroes Channel. It was very interesting.
I was amazed at how people like camp commander Rudolf Hoss could go to work at the camp exterminating people all day long, and then return at night to their families, bouncing their kids on their knees and acting as if nothing was happening.
Men like Hoss were to death what Henry Ford was to the automobile. They created a system of mass destruction, figuring out the most efficient ways to transport Jews to the camps, strip them of all their belongings, gas them and then cremate the bodies.
It’s quite beyond me how a human being could be involved in such an enterprise. Satan seldom shows us his true face. He typically hides his schemes in things which appear attractive or beautiful, but during the Holocaust, he shows forth his true self. Pure,
Obersturmbannführer Rudolf Franz Ferdinand Höss (also Höß, Hoeß or Hoess) (25 November 1900 – 16 April 1947) was a Nazi lieutenant colonel in the Schutzstaffel (SS) and the longest serving commandant of Auschwitz concentration camp in World War II. He tested and carried into effect various methods to accelerate Hitler’s plan to exterminate the Jewish population of Nazi-occupied Europe through genocide known as the Final Solution. Höss introduced pesticide Zyklon B containing hydrogen cyanide to the killing process, thereby allowing soldiers at Auschwitz to murder 2,000 people every hour. He created the largest installation for the continuous annihilation of human beings ever known.
After that series I watched a good hour-long documentary on Anne Frank. Another amazing story.
In early 1945, a typhus epidemic spread through the camp, killing 17,000 prisoners. Other diseases, including typhoid fever, were rampant. Due to these chaotic conditions, it is not possible to say what ultimately caused Anne’s death. Witnesses later testified Margot fell from her bunk in her weakened state and was killed by the shock. Anne died a few days after Margot. The exact dates of Margot and Anne’s deaths were not recorded. It was long thought that their deaths occurred only a few weeks before British soldiers liberated the camp on 15 April 1945, but new research in 2015 indicated that they may have died as early as February of that year.
The saddest thing is that the Holocaust was not an isolated situation in the 20th century. Other maniacal men committed similar genocides. These killings continue to this day and put very simply, this stuff will not end until Christ returns. We can all be very thankful that God in His goodness prevents such things from happening on a much wider scale all the time. I think it was certainly Providence that helped the allies to crush the Third Reich. One wonders what the world would look like had Hitler prevailed.
I’ve often wondered why Jews were made the target of such an atrocity. God judged the Jews in 70 A.D. in a horrible fashion, so was the Holocaust a continuation of this? Why the Jews specifically? It wasn’t only the Jews, but gypsies, homosexuals and others deemed to be sub-human were included as well.
I guess the answer is that Satan hates with a passion that we cannot fully understand any of God’s image-bearers. That hatred is now starting to show itself here in the United States in various forms. Things aren’t too bad yet, but if things like this have happened in the past, they can certainly happen again. The Bible tells us that God does not change. Satan doesn’t either.
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:8-11 NIV