In trying to understand the horrendous events we now call the "Holocaust", the quick and easy answer has always been to blame Hilter and the Nazis. But any serious analysis of what happened must go beyond this simplistic approach. How could any moral, God fearing nation have allowed this to happen? The sad fact is that the citizens of Germany, and most other european nations, were poisoned with deep rooted antisemitism and bigotry, products of hundreds of years of false teachings and hatred by the Catholic church. We cannot just lay the blame on Hitler. the christians of europe permitted these atrocities to occur - in fact, some Catholic collaborators were active participants in the killing of Jews in Poland and the Ukraine. Even after Nazi atrocities, the Vatican, under Pope Pius XII, issued passports and priestly garb that allowed these criminals to escape to Argentina. Even the Swiss Red Cross, supposedly a bastion of neutrality and civility, issued papers that helped the murderous Germans escape. So the question "Why us?" is not a rhetorical cry of misery by the Jewish people. Instead, it is a question that must be answered by every human being. Bigotry and prejudice are not inborn traits…they are learned - from parents, grandparents, teachers, and religious leaders. When religious groups fail to teach and practice tolerance - of other races, cultures, and beliefs - they have lost both morality and humanity. Until the human race learns tolerance for the beliefs and rights of others, we will not have learned the horrific lessons of the Holocaust.
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