PFI [15]: Death Camp Deceptions

Death Camp Deception

Reflection on the deception of the death camps is chilling.

At Sobibor[1]Just found Nazi hidden Gas Chambers at Sobibor in Poland , a cordial greeting was given to new arrivals. Guards took children on their laps and gave them goodies. They were helpful with baggage, making official reports and providing tables for writing letters to friends. Pens and paper completed the illusion of helpfulness.

All the trappings of a holiday resort were at Sobibor.

Everything seemed to inspire hope. There were canteens and parks. Rose gardens decorated the grounds. Yet it was there that in March of 1943 a wild celebration followed the execution of the millionth Jew. There was no hope at Sobibor.

Treblinka was set up as a rest center, a sanatorium.

There was a waiting room and a railroad ticket office, giving the illusion that one would be able to buy his ticket for return after an assigned time there. Yet there was no return. Those arriving at Treblinka had simply entered the hopper of another of Hitler’s killing machines. They would be destroyed, becoming some of the six million who were victims of Nazi hatred of the Jewish people.

The cooperation of non-Nazis in shipping Jews to their death is an unhappy story. Dutch resistance fighter J. A. Scheps rebuked his countrymen for their part in this awful slaughter, saying,

Don’t you understand what they’re doing to these helpless Jews? Don’t you know how they torture our Jewish comrades? Have you bread-and-butter patriots never heard the voice of Rachel, she who mourns and will not be comforted for her children, the children you help carry to their death?

Scheps challenged the Dutch engineers to refuse to carry the cattle cars full of Jews to their deaths. He called upon them to take a stand for righteousness and decency. Few did. Dutch trainmen transported 60,000 Dutch Jews in sixty-seven trains to one camp, Auschwitz, and only 500 returned.

The general procedure for Dutch Jews arriving at Auschwitz was to gas them immediately after being unloaded from the train.

This was the heartless “It’s-time- to-take-a-shower” routine.

Usually women and children were taken first. All were ordered to undress in a common room. Clothes had to be neatly folded and shoes tied together (these would be sent to non-Jews thought worthy by the Third Reich).

The gas chamber appeared to be a shower room.

To add reality to the lie, those entering were given a piece of soap and were promised a cup of coffee after the shower. When the room was packed with Jews, the forbidding door was shut and the gas was turned on. Within fifteen minutes the gruesome charade was over and it was time for the scavengers to begin their work. Gold teeth were removed. Wedding rings were taken off dead fingers. Women’s hair was cut off. And the corpses were shoved into the ovens. The ritual was repeated again and again with the unfeeling efficiency of an assembly line. The end products were ashes and the few remaining possessions of European Jews who had already been robbed and uprooted.”

The degree of Nazi hatred for the Jews may have been best expressed by the infamous Adolf Eichmann, who said,

I shall leap laughing into my grave, for the thought that I have five million human lives on my conscience is to me a source of inordinate satisfaction.

Can the fountain from which such thoughts flow be anything but satanic?

As the war drew to its close and Hitler’s defeat was imminent, it became clear that history was about to bury another company of Jew-haters. God’s promise to Abraham was invulnerable even to the military might of the Third Reich: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 12:3).

On November 26, 1945, a statement by a Nazi doctor[2]Dr. Robert Ley, Nazi Labor Front chief known for his bitterness toward Jews was published in Nuremberg, Germany. Admitting the tragedy of his own involvement in the attempted destruction of the Jews, he wrote:

We have forsaken God and therefore were forsaken by God…. Anti-Semitism distorted our outlook and we made grave errors. It is hard to admit mistakes, but the whole existence of our people is in question. We Nazis must have the courage to rid ourselves of anti-Semitism. We have to declare to the youth that it was a mistake

And what a mistake it was! It produced untold misery f or the Jews, exterminating six million of them and writing pages of disgrace in history concerning Hitler and the Nazis that will never be forgotten.

How different it might have been!

One author says: “Had Hitler loved the Israelites instead of hating them, he might have averted the greatest of all wars, the greatest of all destruction programs, and engendered the admiration of the world instead of its hatred.”

Results of the Slaughter

Hitler’s holocaust was decisive in bringing about the birth of the nation of Israel. European Jews had learned a hard lesson. They must never feel at home except in their own homeland.

The population of European Jews in 1939 had been 9,739,200. By 1945, Hitler’s death camps and his portable killing units had reduced that population to 3,505,130. More than six million of the children of Israel had been victims of this slaughter.

Nevertheless, the Jews as a people were alive — and Hitler was dead.

There was a future to be shaped, a homeland to be developed and work to be done in the land of their fathers. The Jews would do it. Having survived the holocaust, they were not to be denied their homeland. Immigration quotas and all other obstacles would be swept away in a new exodus to the land of Palestine.

The travail was not over. More years of struggle remained. But the birth of a nation was in sight — the long-prophesied birth of the nation of Israel.

Other areas of God’s prophetic program were developed by World War II. Russia had emerged as a military power. Europe was a shambles and would sense the need of cooperation and some kind of economic and political union, foreshadowing Daniel’s prophecy of the revival of the Roman Empire. The immense wealth of the United States would be drained through postwar rebuilding of other nations and in acting as the world’s peacekeeper and defender against communism, preparing the way for a power shift to Europe and the Mediterranean area. China and other nations of the East had been affected by the conflict and would move toward their end-time destinies.

Frightened, the world had entered the perilous nuclear age — announcing the approach of closing time.

We will continue our study next week as we begin to deal with the birth of modern Israel.



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Missionarius Apostolicus

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