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History Repeating Itself

Over the past few months the majority of my extracurricular reading has been books about the Third Reich of the Nazi Party and their greatest atrocity, the Holocaust.


This journey began when I read Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, the story of the University of Washinton’s Rowing Team that competed in Berlin’s 1936 Olympic Games. Since then, I have re-read the writings of the German Lutheran Pastor, Deitrich Bonhoeffer and his biographer, Eric Metaxas. I have also discovered the writings of another pastor who suffered under the Nazi persecution. Hanns Lilje and his book The Valley of the Shadow. It  is sobering to say the least. Along with these I have also read several historical novels that are based upon that period of time. Michael Riet has written three incredible books on the subject that are worth reading, Beyond the Tracks, Tracks to Freedom, and Warsaw Fury. I am presently reading Mila 18 by Leon Uris, which is set in Poland before, during and after the Nazi invasion, the invasion that set into motion the events that led to World War II.


Why do I find this subject so intriguing? Because reading of these events that took place a mere ninety years ago is like reading or listening to the news headlines in our land today. Adolph Hitler did not begin with the atrocities for which he is most famous. He eased into them with mercy killing of the infirm and the insane. Then, slowly but  surely he sold the German public on the idea that Germans were the Master Race and others were deemed to be subhuman in comparison. Besides the annihilation of six million Jews, he also was guilty of the systematic murder of millions of others, Romanians,  Poles, Hungarians, Slovaks, and many more.


In 1973 the United States Supreme Court decreed that unborn babies were not truly human and therefore stripped them of every right to life in womb, even up to and including the moment of birth. Since then over sixty-five million babies have been plucked from the womb in our land. In the past few years several states,  including our beloved California have legalized physician assisted suicide. Other states have moved the needle by now allowing the families of Alzheimer patients the right to decide when their lives may be ended. I find this interesting since both physician assisted suicide and abortion are forbidden by the Hippocratic Oath, the oath that used to be taken physicians when they graduated from medical school. The following lines are from the oath, “No man’s entreaty will prevail upon me to administer poison to anyone. Moreover, I will give no sort of medicine to any pregnant woman, with a view to destroy her child.”


When the German public became convinced that Jews were evil, the Jews then lost their jobs, their businesses, their homes, their synagogues, their freedoms, and eventually their lives. Should we not be concerned when we now see the increasing hatred of Jews that is on the rise in our own country?


Many years ago, I visited the Museum of the Holocaust in Washington DC. After spending several hours in the museum, I remember thinking as I left, “This could happen again.” For the minds of those who led the Third Reich were both brilliant and diabolical. Hanging in the entrance of the Museum of the Holocaust is a picture of Martin Niemoller, a German Lutheran pastor who lived through Hitler’s reign of terror. Below his picture is this quote from Niemoller, “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.”


When abortion, physician assisted suicide, and public demonstrations that condemn any people group are tolerated, it is but the opening of Pandora’s Box and the start of a journey down a very slippery slope. Do you not see, that almost daily basis, freedoms that Americans have enjoyed for years are being systematically stripped away?


In I Chronicles 12:32, we read of the Sons of Issachar. Of whom it was said, “The Sons of Issachar understood the times and knew what Israel needed to do.”


Today, we are desperately in need of Modern Day Sons and Daughters of Issachar, who are discerning of the times in which we are living and instead of retreating, will dare to stand strong and bold against the evils that are being turned loose in our land today.


We dare not hide our head in the sand simply because the ills that I have mentioned do not directly affect us, or have not yet knocked on our doors. They may not be knocking today, but left unchecked, they will be! Remember Niemoller’s words, “Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.” Will you stand? Will you speak? Will you join the Tribe of Issachar?

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