Here is a relatively concise (1,003 word) response:
In the early days of the German advance into Eastern Europe, before the possibility of Soviet retribution even entered their untroubled imagination, Nazi extermination squads would sweep through villages, and after forcing the villagers to dig their own graves, murder their victims with machine guns. On one such occasion, an SS officer watched languidly, his machine gun cradled, as an elderly and bearded Hasidic Jew laboriously dug what he knew to be his grave. Standing up straight, he addressed his executioner. “God is watching what you are doing”, he said. And then he was shot dead.
What Hitler did not believe...and what the SS did not believe ... and what the functionaries, swaggering executioners, Nazi doctors, intellectuals, Brown Shirts, Black Shirts, and a thousand party hacks did not believe was that God was watching what they were doing.- David Berlinski, Jewish "agnostic"
Sunday, June 8, 2008
God with us
No, that's not photoshop, and yes, the notion was rather widely publicly supported within the Nazi party and the German public. To claim the pervasive antisemitism of WWII Europe had its roots in anything other than Christian tradition is to ignore continental history. Berlinski may be brilliant, but he's no historian.