I occasionally receive comments of consolation and support from Christian readers assuring that those who committed the Holocaust were not “real” Christians, that they were misguided or misled or some other explanation for their participation in murdering Jews. Against the enormity of Christendom’s crimes against the Jews spanning two-thousand years, to my ears such assurances, apologies represent platitudes serving consolation for the writer, not his object. For what it’s worth, my response to “X” and his comment inspiring my response:
Just before I replaced the earlier blog I received comment from a Christian offering consolation that the “false Christians” who had perpetrated the Holocaust were “justly punished.” This blog represents an effort to understand how and why the Jews have been subjected to two-thousand years of persecution most recently expressed in the Holocaust. I appreciate that not every Christian actively participated in this horrible history. But I am also obliged to point out that your religion has a terrible flaw providing for such an abomination as the Final Solution to its pathological Jewish Problem. Rather than using my writings to “empathize,” offer “consolation,” express “support for Jews and Israel” I suggest instead you find in these pages a source of doubt in Christianity able to create so monstrous and hateful phenomenon as its Jewish Problem.
We Jews are condemned eternally by your religion, so beyond consolation. If you have any caring, if you truly believe in your religion then instead of empathizing with its victims I recommend self- and religious criticism: excising the Bad Faith resident at its heart.
I reproduce here my response to the well-intended commenter who inspired my above suggestion:
“”X”, I intentionally avoid theology. As regards my previous suggestion regarding “consolation” to the living as equivalent to terror for the victims, I suggest you imagine yourself a Jew in Lodz ghetto hearing that an escapee from Warsaw just brought news of the last train “east,” and that Lodz would soon face the same end, already known as murder. You clutch your children to you knowing there is no escape, only the eternally long wait for the inevitable. The fear, the regret that you brought these children into the world to provide corpses to our oppressors, our murders. The dread of moment by moment wait for the inevitable. The bullet at the edge of the trench; the gas chambers.
If you were I, “X”, a Jew, a survivor by dint of the fact that my recent ancestors had fled pogroms a decade or so earlier and produced living survivors (pure accident); would you I, that surviving-by-accident of location Jew, what would you think of a Christian preaching the other side of the scriptural coin, about a Love, and Acceptance, and Forgiveness totally lacking for two millennia regarding the Jews; how would you respond to that consoler assuring that the murderers of your people, the Jews, and here I refer not to the thousands actively engaged in murder, but the hundreds of millions, no billion plus who allowed the Holocaust to step-by-step proceed, the Final Solution to an all-pervasive and never abrogated Jewish Problem: Would you care one bit that that Christian was convinced that the perpetrators faced the wrath of God at the end?
Think as a Jew, “X.” Such platitudes may salve the conscience of Christians and Christianity. That “possibility” is not a fair exchange (rather the promise of that which I address in these writings, the next and final Final Solution) for the crime.
And that which I feel at this moment writing these words is contempt: it is laughable that such “punishment” for the past two-thousand years of terrorism could so easily be brushed aside.