We remember the millions killed – including the Jews – by the terrible atrocities the Nazis committed, and indeed by regime after regime committing bloody genocide year after year. For the Holocaust at least, we can see that Germany had been crushed, both by losing the First World War, and by the war-reparations mostly imposed by France. A once proud nation lay crushed, the reparations almost paving the way for a man like Hitler who would, like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, resurrect Germany and its proud traditions. But it would be on his own terms; and God would get the rawest of raw deals: under the Nazi plans, He would exit history! Contemporary with Nazi ideology was an idea of Man as Superman, the idea that God was superfluous, and that a Man could do just as well as the absolute arbiter of all knowledge, all value and all worth. And this idea was invested in the glorious Millenarianism of the 1000 Year Reich and its Fuhrer. Attempts at ‘symmetry or congruity’ with history were made – in the figure of an Absolute Being, and a new, Chosen Race. The Nazi mind understood that the new, millenial counterpart of God was to be the Fuhrer, and his Chosen Race the ‘Aryans’. Nazi Revisionism dictated that time and history could be unravelled, and re-ravelled to the new liking of those that deemed themselves the ‘controllers of history’. The Jews would become, in the idiom of evolution and its corollary natural selection, a failed evolutionary strand: Endlosung would accelerate this demise. And with the end of the Jews, this exiting of history (the Jews ‘invented’ God – brought Him inside human time and tradition, human history and experience) so would come the end of God; God too would exit history. The space so opened up, to the Nazi mind, would be newly occupied by the Fuhrer (as god), and Aryanism – the new Chosen-ness, over and above the Jews. The Nazi evil had a certain congruency with history and the past, a certain pattern that mimicked the status quo. We can only be eternally thankful that Hitler failed, and be eternally vigilant too. And on this Holocaust Memorial Day, we remember with sadness, those that were lost.
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