Editorial: Did Christianity Cause the Holocaust?
In defending myself against the Jews, I am acting for the Lord," said Adolf Hitler. "The difference between the church and me is that I am finishing the job." Hitler was lying in an attempt to mislead his public by concealing his own racial animosity behind a mask of Christian language.
Now, a group of prominent Jews has accused the United States Holocaust Museum of the same thing, of misleading the public by blaming Hitler's genocidal program on historic Christian beliefs about Jews (see "Is Holocaust Museum Anti-Christian?," p. 14). The writers of the U.S. Holocaust Museum orientation film Antisemitism, they say, have confused harsh Christian statements about Jewish religion with the race-based ideologies that informed Nazism. In addition, they have taken Hitler's explanation for his motivations at face value. Should Hitler's attempts to use the church to justify himself tell us any more about Christian theology than, say, David Koresh's ravings tell us about the Bible?
Hundreds of thousands of Christians who have visited the United States Holocaust Museum have sat and squirmed through all 14 minutes of the film's loose linking of historic Christian condemnation of Jewish refusal to believe in Jesus with Nazi racism. Most of those Christians, vaguely aware that there has been persistent prejudice against Jews for most of European history, have meekly accepted the film's claims and have not protested the inclusion of this anti-Christian message in a tax-funded national museum.
In December, however, six Jews, Jews who knew the horrific facts of historic Christian anti-Semitism, did indeed protest, sending a letter to the then director of the museum, Walter Reich. In that letter, Michael Horowitz, Elliott Abrams, and other notable ...