Hebrew Highlights 112 – Holocaust Day
For this program, I’d like to point out that here in Israel we observe “Holocaust Memorial Day”. Let me give you a brief history of the Holocaust.
Between 1933-1945, the Nazi German government tried to eliminate the Jewish people and other minority groups in Europe. The Nazis killed nearly 6 million Jews, including 1.5 million children. There were approximately 3 million Jews left in Europe out of the over 9 million who lived there before the Holocaust. In some countries, a major portion of the Jewish population was wiped out. For instance, in Poland, 91% were killed; in Greece, 87%, in Lithuania, 85%, and in Romania, 84%. The horrible list goes on and on.
As soon as Hitler took power in 1933, the German government passed laws to remove Jewish people’s rights as citizens. Ultimately, in German-occupied Europe, the Jews were forced by law to live in specific zones within the cities, called ghettos. From there, the Nazis moved many Jews to labor camps and death camps.
Here are some statistics you may not have heard before. In addition to Jewish people, the Nazis targeted other minority groups. This included Gypsies, the disabled, political dissidents, Jehovah Witnesses, male homosexuals, and Soviet prisoners of war. In December of 1942, a single Nazi decree ordered Gypsies from all over Europe to be deported to the death camp in Auschwitz. When they arrived, 16,000 were immediately murdered. Throughout the Holocaust, the Nazis killed about 7 million non-Jews.
All together, the Nazi regime killed 13 million people. Some groups would tell you these numbers are an invention of Zionists. Actually, the Germans themselves systematically documented the deaths. Every number has a corresponding name. If anything, there were possibly more murders, which were not written down. These crimes finally ended when American troops overpowered the Nazis in the year 1945. Many of the survivors were forced to go to Displaced Persons camps because their homes and families had been destroyed. Children were hidden in orphanages throughout Europe, while their surviving relatives struggled to find them. The world has attempted to punish many of the Nazi war criminals. Many were tried during the Nuremberg Trials. However, some of these Nazi officials are still in hiding today.
There are people in the world who say, “That’s all ancient history. Why bother me with it today?” Well, Adolf Hitler may have committed suicide on April 30th, 1945, but there are other evil men in the world, and other holocausts wait to happen.
Remember 1st Peter 5:8, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”
Here in Israel, many have said, “It is too bad President George W. Bush wasn’t around in the late 1930’s, when Hitler was amassing weapons, and making his evil schemes.”
Yes, it’s true. By dethroning Sadam Hussein, President Bush, and Prime Minister Tony Blair may have stopped the next holocaust. May God continue to give them wisdom, and bless them for their bold and heroic moves.
Until next time, please pray for us here in Israel’s eternal capital. I honestly don’t pretend to understand how God’s roadmap for peace will work out, but I do know that your supplications will help.
Shalom, Shalom from Jerusalem