The Shoah 

The Shoah can be a perplexing event. After all, what could have possibly motivated and driven so many people to commit such atrocious acts, and in such numbers, as those committed during the Jewish Shoah?

To answer this question we must understand what prompted and fueled the antisemitism so prevalent in the psyche of most Europeans on the eve of the Second World War and the beginning of the Shoah.

Gabriel Wilensky

Understanding the Shoah

The Shoah can be a perplexing event, but it is certainly an understandable one. The history of the Shoah is perhaps one of the best studied and documented of all. One can begin to learn about the Shoah by understanding the perpetrators.

“The reason why so many people inside and outside Germany hated Jews so much was because they had all been brought up in an environment in which it was common to blame Jews for all the ills of the world, for being malevolent, for working with the Devil to defile the Christian mind and for crucifying Jesus Christ.”

That the Shoah was perpetrated by only fanatical SS is an already debunked myth. That the Shoah was perpetrated by people against their will is another debunked fiction. Even the claim that people back home in Germany ignored the extent and nature of the Shoah has been entirely demolished. Who perpetrated the Shoah, then? The Shoah was perpetrated by all sorts of ordinary individuals of various different nationalities and socioeconomic extractions. What drove these people to willingly persecute and kill Jews? What was behind their antisemitism? Why did they hate Jews so much that they willingly collaborated with the Germans during their execution of the Shoah, the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question”?

The reason why so many people inside and outside Germany hated Jews so much was because they had all been brought up in an environment in which it was common to blame Jews for all the ills of the world, for being malevolent, for working with the Devil to defile the Christian mind and for crucifying Jesus Christ. These ancient Christian antisemitic accusations, grounded on foundational Christian theology, metamorphosed itself after the Enlightenment into a modern, secular antisemitism. By the time of the Shoah it was commonly understood that the Jews were responsible for bringing about revolution and chaos to Europe, for Jews and Bolshevism to be one and the same thing, for being behind capitalism and conspiring to dominate the world’s economies. The perpetrators of the Shoah felt they were fighting an implacable foe, one that was bent on destroying them. Thus, the murderers of Jews during the Shoah felt they were acting in self-defense, that they were fighting a demonic enemy. 

As in other genocides, in the Shoah the basic elements were there: the demonization of the Jews had been instilled in the population since the time Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman Empire, and the dehumanization of the Jews was pursued relentlessly by the Nazis who held fantastical notions about the putative inferiority of the Jewish race, which they deemed to be pestilent, subhuman, indeed at the same level as vermin or a virus that had to be eradicated. Thus, the German and Austrian perpetrators of the Shoah, who had been subjected to a barrage of racial antisemitic propaganda for a long time, murdered Jews because they were animated by what they perceived to be a purification zeal, a need to eliminate a noxious pest.

In other countries in which the local population had not been subjected to this racial propaganda, the population was equally as willing to eliminate their Jewish neighbors. In those places, the people were motivated to perpetrate the persecution, atrocities and murder that characterized the Shoah because those peoples were animated by an ancient, deeply ingrained hatred and contempt for Jews that stemmed from Christian teachings in which Jews were always portrayed in the worst possible way and in which they were typically accused of all sorts of fantastical crimes, including crucifying Jesus. Therefore, the perpetrators of the Shoah who signed up to be auxiliaries in the exterminatory actions of the Germans, were not only taking revenge against the Jews, but also and just like the Germans, they felt they were ridding the world of a demonic, evil influence and thus felt they were also acting in self defense. The fact that they modernized the ancient Christian accusations and lexicon to give them a more acceptable, secular patina does not change the fact that the common denominator, indeed the foundation on which the hatred of all the perpetrators of the Shoah stems from, is on the Christian teachings about Jews. Even though Christian antisemitism was a necessary, albeit not sufficient reason for the Shoah, indisputably absent Christianity there would have been no Shoah.

Grab Your Copy Today!

Six Million Crucifixions

Traces the history of antisemitism in Christianity and the role that played in making possible the Holocaust.

Who Knew What, When? Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust

Defenders of the Church are fond of repeating the already debunked post-WWII myth that nobody knew of the atrocities back home, that the…

Pius XII to Roosevelt: Please Spare Us

The Telegraph in the UK and other newspapers recently reported about a letter written by Pope Pius XII to President Roosevelt. In this letter, dated August 30,…

Being Protector of Morals-in-Chief

The Catholic Church claims to be the highest moral authority on Earth. It also teaches to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, and to avoid doing to others what we don’t want others doing to us. …

Hitler’s Aides: Willing Collaborators in the Extermination of Jews

The Warsaw Ghetto was one of the many ghettos the Germans established in various European cities. The ghettos were created with the…

Concentration Camps

When the Nazis took power in Germany in 1933 they began a systematic campaign to eliminate political opposition, which was later expanded to include all the people the party…

Going to Mass on Sunday and Killing on Monday

During the Nazi period it was common for ordinary individuals to go about their normal lives, as their Jewish neighbors were harassed, beaten, or worse,…

Causes of the Holocaust

What were the causes of the Holocaust? This is a complex question in the history of the Holocaust, but not an intractable one. It turns out there are several reasons why the…

Why did the Holocaust start?

Quite often people ask: why did the Holocaust start? There are many reasons for the Holocaust, just like there are usually several reasons for any genocide. The…

Appeasement and Nietzsche’s Eternal Return

Sometimes it seems as if Nietzsche was right, and History does indeed return to the same things over and over again in an endless pattern. The variable may…

Forgetting the Sexually Abused Children: The Church’s Strategy

It’s odd that anyone should be surprised at the current sexual child abuse scandal engulfing the Catholic Church. It should not be…

Want to stay informed about the topic?
Subscribe below.

1 + 12 =