Day 4: The Ghosts of Dachau

I used to consider myself to be pretty well-versed in the horror of the Holocaust. I’ve stood in the Yad Vashem memorial in Israel, taken students to the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., seen, read, taught and studied multiple accounts of both victims and survivors of the Holocaust.

But nothing could compare to Dachau.

Perhaps it was the eerie gray mist that swallowed the concentration camp shortly after we made our way through its doleful gates. Perhaps it was the constant cawing of the crows–those smoke-clad harbingers of death. Most definitely it was the stories of the more than 60,000 souls who lived, were tortured and died within these walls of barbed wire.

Being in a place where such atrocities occurred meant more than anything Lois or I had ever experienced. But with the gut-wrenching understanding of the kind of butchery of which human beings are capable came an observation that numbed me to the core.

The naked truth is—another generation is rising that is perfectly capable of carrying out a second Shoah (Holocaust), aimed at those whose beliefs are too different from mainstream thought.

In most of the industrialized world, life is no longer held sacred. From the womb, children are murdered. But we call it “women’s rights.” Those that are born often grow without a sense of destiny, a God-sanctioned belief that they are here for a purpose that THEY ALONE can fulfill. We’ve called that progress. But, despite our scientific abilities and cultural knowledge, we have become primitive where it matters most.

As school shootings, domestic abuse, and random acts of violence become increasingly commonplace, one reality should chill us above all others.

Human life is no longer sacred, especially by members of Gen Z.

As I stood outside the gates of Dachau, I noticed that groups of students emerged from the concentration camp, hooting and laughing at something or another. Not just one or two students, but entire groups over a period of about an hour, emerged from that place of death … laughing.

I was left with a question:

Have we become so callous as a planet that we can find something humorous so soon after seeing the horrors that were inflicted upon men and women?

I say, “yes.”

Not because people are innately cruel, but because, as a world, we have abandoned God’s vision for the sanctity of human life.

Unless we act to teach another generation the sacred nature of EVERY life, the words “Never Again” that rise above the ground that has been hallowed by the ghosts of Dachau may prove to be nothing more than just that…. words.

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    • Thank you Kelly.
      Revelations 12:17 reads, “Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring–those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.”
      When I look around, I can see how easily the Millenials (religious or secular) and others who devalue life can fulfill this and other passages of this nature. The true Christian has one hope-the return of Christ.

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