Posts Tagged ‘germany’

Letter to the Editor: Obama and World Leaders Ringing in Reformation Summer 2017 in Germany

To Lighthouse Trails:

Obama, Chancellor [of Germany] Angela Merkel, and Melinda Gates [Bill Gates’ wife]  all attended and spoke at the Protestant assembly in Germany, Kirchentag, which rings in the beginning of Reformation Summer 2017. The Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby, the Grand Imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib, two additional Imams, a number of rabbis, and a Jewish author spoke as well. Reformation Summer 2017, which Kirchentag is ringing in, is a celebration and commemoration of the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant Reformation in Germany and Europe, and it is ecumenical. (https://r2017.org/en) German Protestant Kirchentag is an ecumenical and interfaith event, despite its name.

Article: “Obama and Makgoba to visit Germany for 500th Reformation anniversary”
“On 25 May the former U.S. President and Chancellor Angela Merkel will engage in a conversation on the topic of “Being Involved in Democracy: Taking on Responsibility Locally and Globally”. Kirchentag President Christina Aus der Au and Bishop Heinrich Bedford-Strohm, EKD Council chair, will moderate the discussion at the Brandenburg Gate. The event is being jointly sponsored and planned by the Kirchentag and the Obama Foundation.

Heinrich Bedford-Strohm invited President Obama in May 2016 to visit Germany for the Reformation anniversary. Bedford-Strohm: “President Barack Obama’s attending the Kirchentag in Berlin, which will ring in the Reformation Summer, underlines the international character of our 500th anniversary celebrations. The churches form a global civil society network of over two billion Christians. Together, as people of faith, we live from the firm hope for a better world. Anyone who is pious also has to be politically minded. I am looking forward to enthusiastic debates during the Reformation Summer 2017.”

Christina Aus der Au is also delighted about the two prominent participants in the Kirchentag. “The United States is strongly marked by the Reformation and its historical impact. At the same time, the Protestant churches and communities there have developed in their own way. President Obama and Chancellor Merkel have said that their dedication as politicians is also an expression of their Christian faith. The Kirchentag movement lives from people who work for justice and solidarity on the basis of their faith. It will be really interesting to hear what the two of them say to us Christians in Europe.” https://www.kirchentag.de/english/programme/obama_and_makgoba.html

Article: “The Kirchentag church festival – the highpoint of the Reformation anniversary year”
“From 24 to 28 May 2017, under the banner ‘You see me’, you are encouraged to open your eyes to your fellow man and look more deeply into everyday life.”
“The Kirchentag is not just for Protestants, of course. People of all faiths and nationalities are very much welcome to attend and to play their part, and wherever possible the festival programme has been made barrier-free.”

“Take the opportunity to discuss topics like peace, tolerance and diversity with your fellow man.
https://www.germany.travel/en/news/the-kirchentag-church-festival-the-highpoint-of-the-reformation-anniversary-year-229825.html

Article: “Obama in Berlin for landmark church assembly”
“Former US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke in front of tens of thousands of people before the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin on Thursday to discuss God, faith and the state of the world.”

“Former US president warned of succumbing to nationalism and a closed world – an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump.”

“In this new world we live in, we can’t isolate ourselves, we can’t hide behind a wall,” he said before the gate that once separated East and West Berlin.”

“Those attending include Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba, Grand Imam of Cairo’s Al-Azhar Mosque Sheik Ahmed el-Tayyib, philanthropist Melinda Gates, German singer and songwriter Max Giesinger, German climate change researcher Ottmar Edenhofer, UN envoy Staffan de Mistura and Israeli author Amos Oz.”  http://www.dw.com/en/obama-in-berlin-for-landmark-church-assembly/a-38961665

Theme of Kirchentag: “You See Me”
“The 36th German Protestant Kirchentag in Berlin and Wittenberg has the theme “You see me” from Genesis chapter 16, verse 13.” “General secretary Ellen Ueberschär points out: “Seeing starts relationships, not only with God but also in the co-existence of all humans. Being looked at by God is the foundation of man’s dignity as a creation of God. The story of Hagar that the topic stems from is referenced both in the New Testament and in the Hadiths, the collection of Muhammad’s sayings. ‘You see me’ is a sentence that expresses recognition, appreciation and attention beyond its biblical context.”

“I wish for a Kirchentag full of awareness: aware of people without regard, in a city where rich and poor are far apart; aware also of those who don’t believe in God or believe differently, here in Germany’s East and in a city full of cultural and ideological contrast; aware and alert for a church that changes because it needs to change.”

– Under full list of topics, here are some listed:
“New start towards the future common good
Ecumenical service on Ascension Day
Spiritual Centre
Centre on the Church of the Future
Centre Barrier free Kirchentag
Theme day on Reforming the ecumenical movement – thinking Reformation ecumenically
Theme day on What is mission? Having faith in a pluralist world
Long night of the religions during the Kirchentag
Centre on Jews and Christians
Centre on Muslims and Christians
Theme day: Interreligious-theological women’s base faculty
Panel series on Peace
Panel series on Sustainable development goals – Germany, a developing country
Panel series on Consequences of climate change (in Potsdam)
Centre for Reformation and Transformation – Ecumenical Perspectives (English-speaking)”
https://www.kirchentag.de/english/programme/theme_topics.html

Programme for Kirchentag Webpage:
“Bible studies or large concerts, Taizé worship or socio-political panel discussions – the events are as varied as its visitors.”
https://www.kirchentag.de/english/programme/programme_book.html

PDF File of Complete Programme:
Some of the topics from this programme are:
Ecumenical Opening Service
The Long Road to Women’s Ordination
Feminists in All Religions
Unite! Strategies against Fundamentalism
Climate Impact and Poverty
Reformation anniversary as “Christusfest?”
In Search of a Christology that is Not Anti-Jewish
One World?
Ecumenical Voices on the Third Reformation
Incense of Music
Interreligious work for peace
Strategies for peace and prophetic witness
Messy church in the United States
Liturgy goes Carribean
The Peacemakers: Texts by Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Theresa, the Dalai Lama, et al.
Tolerance and Peaceful Co-existence
A Safe Europe in a Better World
Taking greater responsibility for peace
Hate Speech
Religious Freedom or Hate Speech – Worldwide Challenges for LBGT+
Climate Change calls for a New Theology
Orthodox Vespers in Ecumenical Communion
Do we need different churches?
Christianity and Korean Confucianism
Seventy years of partition plan, 50 years of occupation: Israel and Palestine – the irresolvable conflict?
I have learned to speak to God
(De)radicalisation through religion
Queer and religious?!: Jewish, Christian, and Muslim positions
Transhuman revolution: The self-invention of the immortal human
Sustainable Development and the churches in South Africa
Meissen unites: Celebrating the Eucharist interdenominationally
Feidman plays the Beatles
https://www.kirchentag.de/fileadmin/dateien/zzz_NEUER_BAUM/English/DEKT36_International_Programme.pdf

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby (Senior Bishop and Principal Leader of the Church of England) tweets about Obama at Kirchentag:
“Grateful to spend time with @BarackObama, Chancellor #Merkel and Christian leaders at #Kirchentag in Berlin today. #dekt17”


AND
“Thank you @BarackObama and Chancellor #Merkel for sending these messages to the people of #Manchester when we met in Berlin today.”

Molly

Berlin’s House of One: a Church, a Mosque and a Synagogue Under One Roof

From House of One website: http://house-of-one.org/en/events/interfaith-service-at-st-marienkirche-berlin.

LTRP Note: The following news story is posted for informational and research purpose.

By Philip Oltermann
The UK Guardian

. . . A group of Christians, Muslims and Jews is trying to crowdsource funds to build a place where they can all worship: Berlin’s “House of One” is aiming to become the world’s first building to combine a church, a synagogue and a mosque under one roof.

The competition to design such a project was won by the local firm Kuehn Malvezzi in 2012. Their proposal was for a modernist structure in which the three religions could pray in three separate rooms. A fourth room with a 32m-high domed roof, joining the prayer rooms, would host regular discussions and meetings between the three communities. Click here to continue reading.

Holocaust Remembrance – When Hitler Was in Power – by a Holocaust Survivor

When Hitler Was in Power – Memories of a Jewish Girl
by Anita Dittman
(From the booklet with the same name)

1939 Breslau, Germany
I was twelve years old and entering early teen years living in Nazi Germany. Often as the lights went out at night, I lapsed into self-pity and cried myself to sleep. I knew it would be a long winter with minimum food rations, crowded, substandard living quarters, and that never-ending dread of the Gestapo knock on the door. More and more Jews feared venturing into the streets.

Rising costs for tuition and school books and the increased anti-Semitism made my school life miserable and my future education questionable. In addition, home conditions were difficult. Two of Mother’s sisters had come to live with us in our one room, and we had to share the kitchen and bath with additional families.

Mother’s sisters—Aunt Friede and Aunt Elsbeth—were endlessly annoyed at my strong faith in Jesus and Mother’s growing interest in Him. Their nagging, coupled with the unbearable bedbugs in our apartment, made life a chore. I gave Aunt Elsbeth my bed and slept on a lumpy, bedbug-infested sofa, falling asleep each night while arguments rang through the room.

We hardly dared go to Pastor Hornig’s church. The macabre scenes we saw on the way caused bad dreams at night as our subconscious relived what we had seen: Jews by the hundreds being herded into trucks as they stared glassy-eyed with fear at being separated from loved ones. Since we were in a Jewish ghetto, we could look out our window almost any day and see such scenes on the street below. The more we were identified as Jewish Christians attending a Protestant church, the more free time we were given.

By fall, the war began in earnest. Germany surged ahead, optimistic because of her swift victory in Poland. The frighteningly diabolical trio of Adolf Eichmann, Reinhard Heydrich, and Heinrich Himmler was ordered to find a “final solution to the Jewish problem,” and it was generally understood that the final solution meant total extermination.

Auschwitz and Dachau, two of the more deadly camps, would strike similar terror within the Jews of Europe. Rudolf Ross was put in charge of the genocide at Auschwitz. Upon his orders, two thousand Jews would be gassed at one time. As men, women, and children were shoved together into massive “shower rooms” some were stamped on their chests with a coded number that indicated they had gold teeth. When they finally realized they weren’t taking a shower, they screamed and cried for mercy, but their cries fell on deaf ears. Amused guards watched through peepholes as they suffered and died. Hideous horror stories began to trickle out of the various camps, putting unbearable pressure on European Jews, who knew that they were all potential gas-chamber victims.

In 1939, Germans began experiencing a fear of their own as the country scurried for air-raid shelters. Bombs weren’t falling on Germany yet, but drills had begun. Homes and businesses complied with blackout regulations, and planes frequently raced across the German sky that fall, though without dropping any deadly weapons.

1940—Berlin, Germany—Away From Home
By the summer of 1940, the Führer had made himself the master of western Europe as he invaded Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, and France. They all would fall before the year’s end. It began to look as though Italy would enter the war as an ally of Germany. But as long as England remained undefeated in the war, a complete German victory was not possible in the West. British resistance stiffened that spring and summer under the incomparable leadership of Winston Churchill. Britain was sending her planes in increasing numbers over the skies of Germany. As the Germans attacked Allied cities and sunk Allied ships, Britain began to retaliate by dropping bombs, and Germany started melting beneath her burning cities.

That August we heard terrifying news: The Germans had bombed a residential section of London, and word got out that the British Royal Air Force would retaliate by hitting Berlin (where I was attending school). Thus, the war was brought home to Germany, and Berlin’s air-raid shelters became my home away from home. If life for the German people had once been an inconvenience, it now was a hellish nightmare. The siege began in Berlin, but soon the whole country would be in rubble.

When the bombing began, we children thought of the nightly air raids as nothing more than dangerous thunderstorms, during which everyone scrambled for the shelters—only basements really. At first the British hit only government centers in Berlin. Sometimes, however, the shrill sirens interrupted our light sleep as often as three times a night. And each time we would dash frantically to the shelter beneath our apartment building.

As the war got worse, so did general living conditions. Yet no true German dared to let defeat or discouragement cross his mind. It was still unthinkable. What about the thousand-year Reich? Hitler surely had things under control; this was only a temporary inconvenience. It was a small price to pay for the Fatherland and the glorious days that lay ahead for the Reich.
The air attack intensified in the fall of 1940 as Berlin received the brunt of the Allied bombing. The basement bomb shelters were almost useless against a direct hit, for a shell would race through ten stories to the basement, burying hundreds of victims. As Hitler intensified the fighting on the battlefront, the Allies intensified their reign of terror from the sky.

Life in the shelters was nerve-racking. We couldn’t move for fear of using too much oxygen. Even if bombs exploded all around us, we were careful not to utter an anti-Nazi statement because several staunch Nazis were sure to be in any given bomb shelter.

As the winter winds began to blow, I missed Mother and the familiarities of home even more. Christmas was in the air, and though Mrs. Michaelis assured me she would send me home for the holiday, I knew that at a moment’s whim she could change her mind. Then early in December, my school principal handed me a note: “Because of your non-Aryan background, you will no longer be allowed to attend classes at this school.”

Early 1941—Home Again in Breslau
Brown-shirted storm troopers were marching through the towns, terrorizing everyone and delighting in making life miserable for the Jews, whether by teasing and taunting or by acts of brutality. They ridiculed and beat Jews everywhere and randomly hauled off individuals or families to prison. Cattle cars were filled daily as trainloads of frightened Jews were shipped to secret destinations throughout the tranquil German countryside.

As I walked to the gymnasium of the school I was attending now, I saw bold signs proclaiming “No Jews Allowed” on nearly every store. Other signs warned Germans to stay away from Jews, who had been banned from theaters, parks, and all recreational areas. Everywhere I looked, I saw anti-Jewish slogans and posters. Many of the posters had the photograph of a Jew who had just been arrested for some concocted crime. In sharp contrast, flashing neon signs illuminated Hitler’s picture.
The Nazi flag was hung proudly outside of most homes in Breslau. Inside, Germans were required to have a picture of the Führer somewhere in the house. Hitler was pressing the Christian pastors to have his picture placed at the front of church altars.

Hitler’s contorted and strained voice blasted hate propaganda from the radio almost daily; he frantically blamed “international financial Jewry” for the war and warned Germans that every living Jew was an archenemy of the Reich. Jews had absolutely no rights and weren’t entitled to own property.

More and more Jews trembled behind locked doors. We learned that a brother and a sister of Mother’s had been picked up and taken to a camp. Another brother and his wife took their own lives rather than face a concentration camp ordeal. It was inevitable that the random confiscation of Jews should hit our house that winter.

Mother tried to be a peacemaker for her three quarreling sisters. However, when she attempted to help them, they would gang up on her because of her growing love for Jesus, who Pastor Hornig had told her was the Jewish Messiah. Mother could no longer deny the power of Christ in our lives. She had to talk about Him; it was a natural overflow of love. But her sisters insisted that it was Jesus’ followers who had hounded the Jews since the first century. They claimed the Nazis were all Christians on the basis of them being Gentiles and having attended Catholic or Lutheran churches. Many of those very churches had now sold out to the Führer, allowing his picture to be on their church altars. It made no sense to my aunts to worship Jesus, a phony dead man in whose name millions of Jews had been persecuted, tortured, and killed.

“But those people aren’t really Christians!” I insisted, not fully grasping the accuracy of my statement. “They just give real Christians a bad name.”

“Nonsense!” insisted Aunt Elsbeth. “All Gentiles are Christians.”

That month Bulgaria was peacefully occupied. Then Germany invaded Yugoslavia, and soon tanks would roll into Athens. Hitler gave an injunction demanding merciless harshness in the war. Whereas at one time the German code of ethics had protected civilians and property, now everyone and everything was to be destroyed by the German soldiers. But every such act of brutality only increased the Allied assault on Germany, so in the end every German paid for the Führer’s madness.

All internal affairs were being handed over to Martin Bormann, who began to carry out a ruthless assault on the Christian churches in Germany. More than ever we feared for the Hornigs and the believers at our church, for they would be prime targets for Bormann’s men because of their interest and love for the Jewish people. Gestapo agents always were planted in the church services now.

The fresh breezes of spring 1941 brought us little relief from our agony. I gave serious thought to dropping out of school because of the rampant anti-Semitism at the gymnasium. My teachers followed Nazi orders to be hard on all students who weren’t Aryans, and the other young people didn’t want to risk being my friend. I felt terribly lonely there—for a fourteen-year-old without a friend is like a violin without a bow.

One by one the apartments in our Jewish tenement were emptying as the arrests increased. In June, we heard the dreaded knock again. This time they came for Aunt Friede, who was seventy-three years old. We tried very hard to swallow our tears again, for we knew it would only upset Aunt Friede more to see us crying over her. Again, no explanation was given and no destination revealed.

A great part of the terrifying fear related to the arrests was the unknown factor of the prisoner’s destination. Was it jail or a concentration camp? Was it a work camp or a gas chamber or a firing squad? One seldom knew until sometimes family members received a postcard from prison or perhaps word was smuggled out that the person had been killed. The fate of millions would never be known. They would simply become statistics.

One by one or all at once, families disappeared and were separated in the ordeal of Nazi Germany in 1941. We never saw Aunt Käte, Aunt Friede, or Aunt Elsbeth again.

Hitler’s hunger for power and blood had no end. Next he invaded Russia in an effort to eliminate the “Eastern menace” of Bolshevism. The Führer didn’t realize, of course, that this was a fatal miscalculation. A world war was now inevitable. America pledged economic aid, and the Allies started fighting back even harder.

Burning synagogue - Photo from Trapped in Hitler's Hell by Anita Dittman - US Holocaust Museum - Used with permission

Burning synagogue in Germany – Photo from Trapped in Hitler’s Hell by Anita Dittman – from US Holocaust Museum – Used with permission

Hitler was sure the Russian campaign would be swift, a fair weather war. Thus the Russian winter became as much his enemy as the Russian soldier. More than 750,000 German soldiers would die from the winter elements as they became bogged down in their advance on Moscow. Because of the devastating defeat, the Jews would suffer even more and be made to pay for Hitler’s mistake.

Only one synagogue was left in Breslau after the burnings of 1938 and 1939. Recently it had been made into a prison for Jews who were waiting for processing before being sent off to the camps.

After school one day, I made my way to the crumbling synagogue. During the long walk in the December cold, I considered the paradox of Nazi Germany. As Christmas approached, Germans celebrated the birth of Jesus; yet they worshiped the godless Nazis. The peace, joy, love, and hope that are synonymous with Christmas were strangely muted in Hitler’s Germany, but few gave up the futile dream of the marvelous thousand-year Reich. Few were ready to allow the idea of defeat to enter their minds, even though smoke from burning Berlin rose five miles high in the sky and uncounted thousands of German soldiers were dying on the Russian battlefront. Routinely the Russians announced the names of their captured German prisoners over the airwaves of underground radio stations. The prisoners’ relatives knew they would never see their husbands or brothers again when they heard their names; the camps in Siberia never sent anyone home.

1942
Hitler’s attention was focused mainly on the Russian front in the spring of 1942, though the Africa corps drove further and further east toward the British-held Middle East. The Americans joined England’s Royal Air Force in dropping bombs on German cities. In the coming weeks and months, Cologne, Rostock, Lubeck, and Berlin would become piles of rubble. But, thankfully, the planes still avoided Breslau.

That spring brought both the bitter and the sweet. Our good friends the Sandbergs were finally taken away. We sorrowed as we remembered the longing of their hearts to be reunited with their sons, who had fled to England before the war.

That May I turned fifteen, and I finished my confirmation classes with Pastor Hornig. Mother scraped a few cents together to make me a lovely white dress. Pastor Hornig tested me in front of the entire congregation at St. Barbara’s; it was one of the highlights of my life. I was thrilled to be able to please Pastor Hornig and Mother as I gave all the right answers in my test. Mother looked at me proudly from the audience. My eyes flashed between Pastor Hornig and Mother as I drank in their looks of approval and praise. This was the best gift I could give them.

My eyes also saw an unfamiliar face in the congregation. We learned later that it was another Nazi spy. It was no secret to anyone in Breslau that Pastor Hornig aided Jews—both believers and unbelievers. Gestapo agents followed him frequently and planted themselves in the church services in order to monitor any anti-Nazi statements.

Shortly after this, I was handed another familiar note in school, telling me not to return to classes because of my Jewish heritage.

About the same time that spring, Reinhard Heydrich died. He was one-third of the Eichmann-Himmler-Heydrich trio—the masterminds behind the Jewish persecution. The blood of thousands—perhaps millions of Jews was on his hands.

To this day, the Nazi Holocaust continues to prevent many Jewish people from believing in God. Satan uses it as the biggest stumbling block for the numerous Jews who can’t accept that a loving, all-powerful God would allow such a horrible thing to happen. Granted, millions perished, yet God also allowed millions to survive.

The Reich suffered a terrible defeat at Stalingrad as the Russians captured 220,000 German prisoners in February 1943. Solemn music was played for three days on the radio as all Germans mourned the loss. At last, Germany was experiencing the type of pain she had been inflicting on others.

We had heard that defeat was also occurring in North Africa, and the air war against Germany was merciless now. A layer of smoke blanketed the land as Hamburg and other cities were being hit day and night. A concentrated Allied attack on German U-boats caused the Germans to lose the battle in the Atlantic.

Finally, the Allies demanded the unconditional surrender of the Reich, but for Hitler that was unthinkable. Instead, he declared that an attitude of defeatism would be punishable by death, and the empty propaganda that promised a glorious day for Germany continued to be screamed over the airwaves.

How much longer would the German people believe in the illusion of the glorious Fatherland? How much longer would they follow the mad pied-piper and trust him with their sons, fathers, and husbands, many of whom would never leave the Siberian prisoner-of-war camps? How much longer would they be blindly obedient to the Führer, who admittedly had no compassionate thought for a human life? He even willingly sacrificed his own German people if they weren’t perfect specimens of the Aryan race. When would the prayers of Christians around the world hasten the demise of the German demagogue and strangle Satan’s attempt to bring only sorrow and sighing into the world? How much longer, God? We knew that one swift blow of God’s judgment could end the despair, and we believed that real Christians around the world surely had calluses on their knees from praying for the nightmare to end.

1943
As winter turned into the spring of 1943, we heard that the Allies had won the war in Africa, which gave Mother and me a surge of hope. But true to the pattern, as the Reich suffered, our supervisor became more strict and rigid, allowing hardly any conversation during our long workday. Only hungry rats scurrying along the beams above us broke the monotony.

Rumors began to fly about some of the Reich’s concentration camps being liberated in the coming year. The camps now held millions of Jews from Germany, France, Belgium, Holland, Austria, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and the Balkans.

However, our dreams were suddenly shattered one balmy spring day when we heard about the destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. Five-hundred-thousand Jews had been herded into the ghetto to starve to death. Finally the Germans went in to kill them or crowd them into death camps; however, the starving but determined Jews fought back with everything they had. Then Hitler sent in three thousand more troops to quickly take over the ghetto with tanks, armored cars, artillery, and flame-throwers. Only five-hundred Jews lived to tell of the annihilation of the ghetto and its people.

That week we could hardly speak to one another without choking back tears of grief and anger; even within the purest heart, bitterness raged toward the Nazis. Our faith was shaken and our hope dimmed. The atheists among us cursed, while the Jewish unbelievers withdrew into themselves. The religious Jews prayed harder and asked why. We Christians comforted one another and realized that some answers would be available only in heaven.

1944
The Allies landed in Normandy. Rumor had it that everyone who had even one Jewish grandparent was now going to be picked up in a last-ditch effort to wipe out the Jewish race. Hitler would make the Jews pay, of course, for his mistakes in the war, a pattern that was never broken.

The stories from the camps told of massive gassings and shootings. Following a gassing, the bodies would be cremated in giant ovens. Giant smokestacks coughed out soot from burning bodies, blanketing most of Europe. Fellow prisoners, or in some cases family members, would then be ordered to break up the remaining bones and bury them in mass graves.

The worst horrors took place in Auschwitz, from which few ever escaped or lived to tell their stories. It was estimated that almost three million already had perished there, and at the end of the war it would be learned that eighty percent of those sent to Auschwitz died.

Antia today

Anita today

The most gruesome story leaked out early in 1944 and would later be documented. Hitler informed Himmler that it was not enough for the Jews to die; they must die in agony, for they were only germs, not people. Himmler was ordered to devise a plan to make thousands of Jews die a horrible death. He got the idea of placing Jewish prisoners in freight cars having their floors coated with a layer of dehydrated calcium oxide. The substance caused terrible burns, and prisoners often suffered for days before dying an awful death in the freight cars, which were left in a secluded place.

Hitler had only to whisper and ten thousand prisoners would die that day.

The human mind and body could not logically withstand such pressures and uncertainties, especially if a person had a loved one in a camp or if he himself was on the Nazi blacklist. Added to the other horrors was the constant threat that a death-camp experience awaited him after a harsh midnight knock on his door. The Nazi blacklist included more than just Jews. Christians who were suspected of hiding or aiding Jews were on it, as well as anyone who uttered an anti-Nazi sentiment. A time would come for all of us to be hauled off to death camps unless the Allies—with God’s help—could rescue us.

To order copies of this article in booklet format ($1.95),  click here.

Lest We Forget: “Ex-Auschwitz medic, 95, to stand trial for 3,681 deaths”

Photo: AP; Twitter (in accordance with US Fair Use Act)

By David K. Li
New York Post

A 95-year-old man who worked as a paramedic at Auschwitz will stand trial next month as an accessory to the murder of 3,681 death camp inmates, a German court announced Monday.

Hubert Zafke, accused by prosecutors of serving as an SS sergeant in Hitler’s killing machine, is set to face justice Feb. 29 in Neubrandenburg state court.

Zafke was stationed at Auschwitz in 1943 and 1944 and would have been on duty at the notorious death camp when diarist Anne Frank and her family were sent there on Sept. 5, 1944, authorities have said. Click here to continue reading.

Related Material:

Holocaust Survivors Anita Dittman and Diet Eman Turning 88 and 95  – Still Sharing Their Stories

Annotated Hitler’s Mein Kampf to be Published in Germany

By BBC (British Broadcasting Corp)

Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, with critical notes by scholars, is to be published in Germany next month – for the first time since the end of WW2.

The Institute of Contemporary History (IfZ) in Munich says it will print up to 4,000 copies with some 3,500 notes.

IfZ director Andreas Wirsching says the text with expert comments will “shatter the myth” surrounding the manifesto.

But the move has been criticised by Jewish groups, who argue that Nazi works should never be republished. Click here to continue reading.

Recommended Resources:

The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William Shirer

Israel: A Nation is Born

Trapped in Hitler’s Hell

Things We Couldn’t Say

 

Are Christian Leaders Leading the Church Down the Broad Road of Delusion?

Why is there almost no call for spiritual discernment within the Church? . . . Why are there so few warnings about a counterfeit “new gospel” movement that maligns the person of Jesus Christ and threatens the lives of His followers?- Warren B. Smith

smith

Warren B. Smith

by Warren B. Smith
Traditional Christian believers frequently mention the analogy of the frog that is so slowly and gradually boiled in a kettle of water that it dies before ever realizing what is going on. Yet many believers fail to realize that the very same thing is happening to them as they tell that story. How else do you explain the rapid rise of the “new gospel” movement with hardly a word of concern within the Church about what’s been happening? As “new gospel” advocates continue to publish bestselling books and flock to the airwaves in ever-increasing numbers to advance their cause, there is a strange silence within Christianity. Does the Church have any idea what is going on?

So often we have heard the impassioned refrain, “We can never let what happened in Germany ever happen again.” And with all of the Holocaust memorials, survivor testimonies, and multitudinous books on the subject, we have done a pretty good job of convincing ourselves that we will never make the same mistakes the German people did in allowing someone like Hitler to rise in their midst. We think that Americans would never stand by and allow something like that to happen here in our country. Our democratic processes and old-fashioned common sense would never allow it.

In the introduction to a 1999 publication (Sixth Pressing) of Hitler’s Mein Kampf, Konrad Heiden describes how everything that Hitler was about to do was telegraphed in his early writings:

For years Mein Kampf stood as proof of the blindness and complacency of the world. For in its pages Hitler announced – long before he came to power – a program of blood and terror in a self-revelation of such overwhelming frankness that few among its readers had the courage to believe it. Once again it was demonstrated that there was no more effective method of concealment than the broadest publicity.2

Somehow, Christians don’t seem to grasp Jesus’ warnings about the tremendous deception that characterizes the time of the end. Perhaps deceived into thinking that we can’t be deceived, we don’t take seriously enough His warnings that a Hitler-like antichrist figure will one day rise to rule the world – and that many people calling themselves “Christians” will support this spiritual counterfeit who will actually come in the name of Christ. Our adversary wants us to believe that these warnings are for another people at another time. Yet through Scripture, and in our heart of hearts, the Spirit of God tells us that they are not. As we study the Bible, and as we watch and pray and observe the events all around us, we come to understand that these future times described by Jesus are now suddenly and undeniably upon us.

In his second letter to the Corinthians, Paul warns of their vulnerability and susceptibility to false teaching in the name of Jesus. He suggests that if someone approached them with “another gospel,” “another Jesus” and “another spirit” they might very well go along with it (2 Corinthians 11:3-4). Earlier in that same letter Paul had indirectly encouraged the Corinthians not to be ignorant of their adversary’s schemes and devices, lest they be taken advantage of (2 Corinthians 2:11). Paul told the Ephesians that it is a shame that we even have to talk about the things of darkness, but when we expose them they are brought into the light (Ephesians 5:12-13). He also told them that he had not ceased to warn them night and day for three years that men who were “grievous wolves” would “arise” in the Church “speaking perverse things” as they attempted to lead men away from their faith and into the enemy’s camp (Acts 20:29-31). Let us beware of these same warnings today.

And it is, indeed, very disturbing to see many Christian leaders today using many of the same words and expressions commonly used by their “new gospel” counterparts. “New revelation” describing how a great “move of God” is going to take believers “pregnant with destiny” to “a new spiritual level” and into a “new dimension” sounds a lot more like the “new gospel” than the traditional Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Are Christian leaders leading the church ever closer to the cross, or ever closer to the “Planetary Pentecost”? Why is there almost no call for spiritual discernment within the Church (except to warn believers not to be deceived into doubting their appointed Christian leaders)? Why is spiritual experience taking precedence over spiritual discernment? Why are there so few warnings about a counterfeit “new gospel” movement that maligns the person of Jesus Christ and threatens the lives of His followers? Why is “new revelation” in many ministries starting to supercede God’s written Word? Why are Christians only being prepared for blessings and not for persecution? What in the world is going on?

Expecting only revival and the return of the true Christ, will the Church be deceived by the one who will come in the name of Christ and pretend to be Him? Caught unawares, will the Church mistake the counterfeit Christ’s “Planetary Pentecost” for the great “move of God” they had been told to expect? Are we getting set up for the great delusion described in the Bible? Is there any good reason not at least to consider that possibility?

The prophet Daniel makes mention of the God of “forces” in conjunction with antichrist (Daniel 11:38). The “God” of the “new gospel” asks [New Ager] Neale Donald Walsch, “What if I am not a ‘man’ at all, but rather, a Force?”3 The “Christ” of A Course in Miracles states that there is an “irresistible Force” within each person.4 Marianne Williamson explains that this “universal force” can be “activated” within each person and has “the power to make all things right.”5 The “new gospel Christ” tells Barbara Marx Hubbard that on the day of “Planetary Pentecost” a “planetary smile” will flash across the face of all mankind; that an “uncontrollable joy” that he describes as the “joy of the force” will “ripple” through the one body of humanity.6 Benjamin Creme describes the event “as a pentecostal experience for all.”7 The “Christ” of A Course in Miracles tells how the world ends in “peace” and “laughter.”8

Has anyone wondered whether this same “Force” may be counterfeiting the Holy Spirit in churches and may be producing “revivals” and “moves of God” that are not really “revivals” or “moves of God” at all? Is the “God of forces” in the process of preparing the Church for the “Planetary Pentecost”? Should we not be doing a more thorough job of testing the spirits? Have we put our faith and trust in Christian “leaders” rather than in God? Have we all talked ourselves out of the end times? Have we all agreed that persecution is not something we need to be concerned about? Have we prayed to God that we would not be deluded or deceived?

In my book, The Light That Was Dark, I wrote the following: “Clearly many who said they were of ‘the faith’ would soon become a part of the deception too, if they weren’t already.”

Were we already witnessing the great “falling away” predicted in the Bible? Was the “mystery of iniquity” talked about in the Scriptures already doing its deceptive work with “all power and signs and lying wonders”…? Would people calling themselves Christians abandon their faith in the Bible and the Bible’s Christ? Would they join an ecumenical movement that in the name of love and God and unity would sacrifice the truth of the Bible and perhaps one day merge with the new age itself?

Jesus warned that such a faith would lead not to life but to ultimate destruction: “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it” (Matthew 7:13-14).9

Could it be that the reason the Church is so unaware of the “new gospel” movement is because it is being led by that same spirit and heading down that same broad way? Is it happening now, right in front of our very own eyes?

(For more information, read False Christ Coming: Does Anybody Care by Warren B. Smith)

Notes:
1. NBC News “Special Report: America on Alert,” Tom Brokaw hosting Marianne Williamson as guest, September 16, 2001 broadcast transcript (Livingston, New Jersey: Burrelle’s Information Services).
2. Adolph Hitler, Mein Kampf (Sixth Pressing), translated by Ralph Manheim (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co.: Mariner Books, 1999), p.xv.
3. Neale Donald Walsch, Conversations with God: Book 3, p. 325.
4. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume, (Text) p. 479.
5. Marianne Williamson, Healing the Soul of America, p. 13.
6. Barbara Marx Hubbard, The Revelation, p. 243.
7. Benjamin Creme, Maitreya’s Mission: Volume Two (Los Angeles: Share International Foundation, 1993), p. 239.
8. A Course in Miracles: Combined Volume, (Manual for Teachers) p. 37.
9. WarrenB.  Smith, The Light That Was Dark, p. 150.

Government leaves family ‘broken into a million pieces’

LTRP Note: Because Lighthouse Trails is a research project, we post news stories from several different sources in addition to articles from our trusted authors and ministries. These out-of-house news stories are for informational and research purposes and not necessarily as an endorsement for the source itself. As with everything that is read, whether on the Internet, in newspapers, or in books, Christian believers must always use biblical and godly discernment.

By Bob Unruh
WorldNetDaily

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Dominec and Annie (his mother) Johansson – Photo used in accordance with the US Fair Use Act

The highest court in Sweden has refused even to consider allowing parents to see their now-14-year-old son, who essentially was “state-napped” by social-service workers at age 7 merely because he was homeschooled.

Word of the decision comes from the Home School Legal Defense Association, which has been working with other groups including the Alliance Defending Freedom and lawyer Ruby Harrold-Claesson, of the Nordic Committee on Human Rights, on the case involving Domenic Johansson.

He was taken by force from a jetliner on which he and his parents were planning to move from Sweden to his mother’s native India back when he was seven. The initial allegations were homeschooling, which was legal in Sweden at the time, although officials later added claims that his vaccinations were not up to date, and he needed fillings in his teeth. Click here to continue reading.

Related Stories:

Police-State America Strikes Homeschool Families Again: 7 Children Taken from Parents During Search for “Miracle” Treatment Chemical

German Government Returns Custody of Homeschooled Children to Their Parents

UK Christian School Shut Down for Having ‘Discriminatory Views’ Toward Other Faiths

Christian Couple Fights Texas Officials After Homeschooled Children Forcibly Removed From Home

 


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