I was talking to a friend who just came back from Russia, where he saw a people hardened by atheism, tough life, corruption, and financial problems.
“To think that they fought hard against the Germans during WWII,” he said. “They should have welcomed the Germans with open hands. They would be far better off now.”
No one knows how the Russians would fare today if they were part of Germany; of today’s Germany, that is. Because one thing is sure: had Hitler’s one thousand-year empire become the reality of Western and Eastern Europe, I strongly doubt that the Russians would have been better off. On the contrary, based on what the Germans did to the Russians during the first two years of the Russian-German war, I seriously doubt the Russians would still exist as an ethnic group — along with all the Slavic people. Hitler had, in fact, planned their extermination, for he needed Lebensraum (living space) for the master race, the Germans.
The world has been the theater of many horrific examples of cruelty and barbarism, carried out for religious or ethnic reasons, and even for a more prosaic thirst for power; yet few, if any, of such examples have shown the cold and systematic application of pure evil that was Nazi Germany during the course of its 12 years of existence. What was done to civilians, even women and children, in the Nazi-occupied territories, is beyond human comprehension.
If you read stories of Nazi Germany, like William L. Shirer’s book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, or first-hand testimonies of extermination camp survivors, like Primo Levi’s If This Is a Man, especially if you approach them as a parent, thinking about your wife and children when reading about the fate of those poor people under Nazism, you cannot but weep and pray that it’ll never happen to your family.
The examples are many and all shocking. But I think about what happened at Babi Yar, a ravine near Kiev where, between September 29 and 30, 1941 the SS killed 33,771 Jews, including entire families. There were witnesses at the Nuremberg trials that mentioned grandmothers holding infants in their arms, singing them sweet lullabies as they were walking, naked, toward the mass grave where they would be killed shortly; or families with fathers, mothers, and young children, all equally naked, the children sobbing silently, and their fathers hugging them and pointing their fingers towards Heaven, as to console them. Think about that.
Or think about Oradour-sur-Glane, a small village in France, where on June 10, 1944 the entire village, hundreds of people were massacred by the SS in retaliation for the kidnapping a Waffen SS officer. The men, some 190, were machine-gunned in barns and sheds, shot in the legs so that they would die more slowly. The 247 women and 205 children were locked up in a church, which was set on fire. Those who tried to escape through the windows were machine-gunned.
Think about that. Civilians, women, children. Over and over across Western and Eastern Europe, in all the countries occupied by Nazi Germany. No mercy. None.
Nazi Germany was a taste of pure Satanism, a place of unspeakable terror, murder, rape, chilling medical experiments, extermination camps, starvation, lies, pure madness, and absolutely distorted sense of reality.
I hope it’ll never happen again, even though I think it will.
May God have mercy on our children.