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January 27, 2005

60 years ago today.

Auschwitz was liberated.

I still know a few folks who claim the Holocaust was a trick of propaganda. I never come so close to physical violence as I do when that comes up.

This anniversary puts me in the mind of an independent study class I did in seminary on regaining hope after unspeakable loss. Over the course of a semester, I interviewed numerous holocaust survivors, read books by and about hundreds more and worked at the Virginia Holocaust Museum briefly as a volunteer.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but what a depressing study. My conclusion was (and had to be) that people can alway regain hope, but it very often takes great lengths of time to recover from the largest traumas. There is a level of trauma that some people gained in the holocaust that was simply so great that they couldn't live long enough to regain hope. Many of these folks eventually committed suicide.

The study was useful to me as a chaplain, because people experience different levels of trauma. Also, people are different; something that doesn't bother me anymore might paralyze someone else for years emotionally.

Hope is a very precious commodity, and this day 60 years ago is a reminder.

Posted by Dan at January 27, 2005 09:34 AM

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Comments

Matthew 39
But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on (your) right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.

I was watching a Frontline special the other night. It talked about the hopeless war against jihadists (highly leftist POV in this show). These men go about the world recruiting young men to blow themselves up and kill innocent people. They do it in the mosques in Europe and all over the world. They strike me as truly evil men much like Hitler.

The question has bothered me for a couple of days now. I've read some interpretations of "turning the other cheek" which attempt to explain the context of this message and how it is not applicable to Hitler and Auschwitz.

How do you view us killing jidhadists? How do you view us fighting Hitler and bombing Dresden? How do you view this in light of "turning the other cheek" and not resisting evil?

Posted by: Ralph at January 28, 2005 05:36 PM

Sorry. Matthew 5:39

Posted by: Ralph at January 28, 2005 05:43 PM

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