Is Six Million Crucifixions blaming Christianity for the Holocaust?

The short answer is no. One cannot trace a direct line of causality between Christian teachings and the Holocaust. The argument of Six Million Crucifixions is not that Christian traditions led to the murder of the Jews. I do not say that anywhere in the book, as I do not know of any Christian teaching that says something like “Thou shall kill Jews.” My argument, however, is that Christian oral and written traditions predisposed the Christian population of Europe to a message of hatred and eventually murder. In other words, the fact is that most Christian individuals up until the Second Vatican Council heard all their lives from their teachers, parents, priests and holy books that the Jews were evil, that they had killed Christ, that they were bent on destroying Christianity, that they were perfidious, that they were blind to the truth, that they killed Christian children to extract their blood for their own rituals, etc. etc. Now, I seriously doubt that the SS henchmen in the Einsatzgruppen were thinking about all this nonsense when they pulled the trigger of their machine guns. My point is that these SS men, as well as the vast majority of the German population and a good part of the rest of the world, thought that the message Hitler and Goebbels were spewing out made sense, and that the Jews deserved what was coming to them. These people were predisposed to hear a message that included the notion of excluding and eliminating an ethnic group from their midst because they had heard (and perhaps seen) the Church do exactly that for the past few centuries. To a 1930’s German, making a Jew wear a yellow star of David made sense and was not surprising in the least because that is exactly what the Church had forced them to do just a few generations before. When the Germans put Jews in ghettos, it did not surprise anyone, or alarm anyone to the barbarity of the event, because this is something the Church had been doing up until a few decades before.

Think about it this way: if your parents and other authority figures had told you since you were three, and kept repeating this at every possible occasion until you were eighteen, that the Swedes (or whatever) were evil people, that they were blind infidels who denied the truth of your religion and your god, that actually killed your god in the most gruesome way, that killed German children for some sick ritual, that poisoned the water supplies in order to kill you, that they were in cahoots with the devil to poison and corrupt your mind, etc., by the time you were old enough to enlist you would surely be more receptive to a message that said that the Swedes were subhuman, bent on taking over the world and enslaving the German people, wouldn’t you? In other words, without the previous eighteen years of indoctrination, if someone came to you at age eighteen and told you the Swedes were evil and it was a matter of killing them before they killed you you would surely find the premise preposterous. You would laugh and dismiss it right away, because your common sense and what you know to be true of the Swedes would tell you the Swedes are not bad people bent on the destruction of the German people. But, it turns out that most Germans not only did not dismiss Hitler and his message about Jews as crazy. They embraced it wholeheartedly. It also happens that a great many people in France, Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Croatia, Ukraine, Lithuania, etc. did not dismiss this message either. My point is that all this people had heard all their lives that Jews were evil enemies of Christianity, and so when the Blitz came it was their chance to get even and eliminate this perceived pernicious elements from their communities.

The problem with Christians and Christianity was not that they just did not care for the Jews and were simply indifferent to their fate. How does someone become indifferent to the “Final Solution”? This is not something you can simply dismiss because you don’t care. I do not have any connection to Rwanda’s Tutsis, yet I am appalled by what happened to them. How did an ordinary German in the ‘30s walk by a street scene in which SA men were humiliating a Jewish man or woman, and be indifferent? How did they look at the photographs the killing squads in the Eastern Front proudly took of the mass murder of Jews and be indifferent? A normal individual would have been appalled, not indifferent. Again, replace “Swedes” or “Italians” for “Jews” above and tell me if you feel they would have been indifferent? I don’t think so. Why? How did those regular, mostly good people in Germany become so indifferent? Besides, is “indifferent” even the right word? I think one can be indifferent to someone else’s tooth ache, but can you be indifferent to a picture of a brother or son aiming his rifle at the head of a mother holding her young child? Can you be indifferent to a picture of rows of naked men, women and children as they are being machine-gunned in front of a mass grave? I think that that was not indifference; that was a widespread understanding that that was what the Jews deserved, an understanding that would have been impossible to reach without some serious indoctrination since early childhood.

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