In 1941, after receiving intercepted intelligence about what was
happening to the Jews in Europe, Winston Churchill said, "We are in
the presence of a crime without a name." He later described it as
"the greatest and most terrible crime ever committed in the whole
history of the world." Even when these reports were received, many
just could not believe it, because there was no precedent to it.
One analyst said, "The Allies neither understood, nor tried to
understand, the real nature of the Nazi crusade against the Jews."
Could we not say the same about today’s War on Terror? Most nations
do not understand, nor try to understand the real nature of that war,
that it is against Islam, not just terror; that at its root, it is a
religious war, not political; that it cannot be won diplomatically;
that its goal is not just to exist side by side with Israel as a
state but to wipe it off the map; that its goal is not just Israel or
the United States, but worldwide domination. So, are we in such a
different place than we were in 1941?
Why is it important that we take time to remember this atrocity?
Because we don’t want it to ever happen again. Because the same
anti-Semitic hatred that fueled Hitler’s ovens is still alive today.
Because we want to gain courage from those who suffered and survived.
Because we have to tell the truth in order to counter the lies that
people like Iranian President Ahmadinejad promotes-that there was no
Holocaust and it is just a Jewish myth. Because there are thousands
of Christians and Jews today who are living under persecution because
of their faith, and we need to pray for them.
It’s important to acknowledge that it was not just Jewish people who
died under Hitler’s extermination policies. It is estimated that 9 to
11 million died as victims of Nazi brutality, but the Jewish
population was the majority of them. All toll, around 72 million
civilians and military died during WWII, so 6 million Jews may not
seem so significant in light of such a great number. However, in
terms of the total Jewish population, it is very significant. It is
estimated that 67% of Europe’s almost 9 million Jews were annihilated
during WWII. In some countries, such as Poland, Germany, Austria, and
the Baltics, the percentage was 90%. In thousands of communities,
there was not one Jewish person left alive. In fact, at the Treblinka
concentration camp, there is a memorial containing some 17,000
stones, each bearing the name of a community wiped out by the Nazis.
Today, there are only between 13 and 14 million Jews worldwide with
only 5.4 million living in Israel (2006 stats). So if we had a
similar Holocaust today, it would wipe out all the Jews in Israel or
over 46% of the entire Jewish population worldwide. And, of course,
that is the well-publicized and often-stated goal of Hamas, Al-Qaeda,
Ahmadinejad, and others.