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April 15, 1983 - Image 21

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1983-04-15

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Apt n


Littell Outlines Program of Response to the Holocaust


National Institute
on the Holocaust

not simply a technically
competent barbarian.
We can agree in condem-
nation totalitarian gov-
ernments that still surivive,
and in our support of gov-
ernment constitutions that
ensure their representative
character. We can work to-
gether on behalf of 'Soviet
Jewry, of Israel's survival
and well-being, and in com-
batting the chameleon
Beyond Christian-Jewish
cooperation, however, those
who still dare to profess the
Christian faith have a spe-
cial task: to turn Christian
preaching and teaching
away from the contemptu-
ous and hateful toward the
reconciling and fraternal.
That progress is being
made, painfully and slowly
to be sure, can be
documented. Perhaps the
most dramatic evidence of a
new mutuality of American
Jews and Christians is the
acceptance of Yom Hashoa
memorial observances as a
joint concern. In recent
years the President, the
governors of states, and the
- mayors of our cities have
hosted memorial obser-
vances and issued procla-
mations. Many hundreds of
congregations, Christian as
well as Jewish, annually
remember the 6,000,000 in
prayers and special services
. . . parallel to the public
There is additional
concrete evidence of a

should a Christian re-
member the Holocaust and
salute its survivors? An-
swer: Becatthe he remem-
bers a time when the so-
called Christian nations
were either perpetrators or
spectators in a massive as-
sault upon the Jewish
At first the memory con-
fronts him with a chal-
lenge to the credibility of his
own faith. And then, if he
has survived spiritually,
the memory exacts from
him a pledge that he will
never again be guilty of de-
nying Jewish survival its
place in the Providence of
Why should a man of the
university remember the
Holocaust and salute its
survivors? Answer: Because
he remembers a time when
some of the most skilled and
competent of modern tech-
nicians prostituted their
abilities to serve a modern
They were men of in-
ternational reputation,
even Nobel laureates
among them. They were
chemists, medical inves-
tigators, jurists, theolo-
gians, engineers — per-
sons of vast knowledge,
and little wisdom.
From a -purely human
point of view, no one can fail
to be inspired by the story of
the survivors — those who
came out of immeasurable
and inexpressable personal
tragedy to build new lives; Israeli soldiers were
those who retrieved beauty wounded Tuesday night by
and life from the very small arms fire and
depths of the Pit. That the bazookas fired from an am-
Washington - Gathering bush at an IDF patrol west
brings together survivors of Ein Zahlata,in central
and liberators, Jews and. Lebanon.
Christians — united by
The wounded men were
their citizenship in a land of evacuated to a Haifa hospi-
liberty — is an occasion for tal by helicopter while large
rejoicing by all loyal Ameri- army units searched the
area, using flares during
For a person of con- the night.
Several weeks ago two Is-
science, whether Jew or
Christian, the event carries rael soldiers were killed and
special meanings. This is two wounded in the same
especially true if the person area when their vehicle was
remembers the days of ambushed by terrorists who
abandonment and apostasy pretended their car had
personally. For he belongs broken down on the side of
to the generation on whom the road.
Last week, an Israeli
time is running out, who
sees his children and soldier was killed, three
grandchildren rising up others were wounded,
around him. And every day and three soldiers were
sounds the question more treated for shock in five
strongly: What shall we incidents in Lebanon.
The dead soldier was kil-
teach the children?
On some teaching, Jews led as a result of a road
and Christians can stand accident arising out of a
together. We can insist that terrorist attack.
The army spokesman said
the story be told, that the
instruction in the schools that two soldiers were
not neglect such a massive wounded when an explosive
historical event. We can charge was detonated at the
cooperate in establishing side of the road along which
centers and institutes of their convoy was passing
Holocaust education, best near Kasr Chamoun south
done on an inter-faith base, of Beirut.
Another vehicle in the
for under no circumstances
may the illusion be allowed convoy _tried to find a safer
to float that the Holocaust point from which to
'was "only" a Jewish event. counter-attack an ambush
We can work together but overturned, killing one
that the typical product of its occupants and injuring
of the modern university another.
In another incident, fire
be wise, committed to
morals and ethics, and was opened on an army ve-

change in the churches.
One major denomination
in the U.S. — the Ameri-
can Baptist Churches
headquartered in Val-
ley Forge, Pa: — has
made Yom Hashoa an of-
ficial event in the annual
calendar observed by its
pastors and congrega-
In a number of theological
seminaries, Roman
Catholic as well as Protes-
tant, courses or seminars on
the Holocaust and its les-
sons are taught. This is
especially important, for it
means that a new genera-
tion of priests and ministers
will be coming forth, edu-
cated to think in a radically
different way about the re-
lationship between the
churches and the Jewish
In the generation that is
passing, very few perceived
the cost of wrong-headed
teaching and discriminat-
ory actions until the Ger-
man Fuhrer drove the les-
son home with Stukas and
Panzers and Zyklon B. In
the Gathering, we meet as
survivors and friends to
convenant that we shall
never again through indif-
ference and neglect permit
such a thing to happen. We
know that it is the nature of
terrorist movements that
become criminal govern-
ments, as did the German
NSDAP, to take "the other,"
"the outsider" today, and us

Ambush Injureg- IDF Soldiers


hide near the Galerie
Sama, a former crossing
point between east and west
Beirut. There were no

Two other incidents in-
volved explosive charges set
off at the side of roads, one
south of Damour and an-
other near the Zaharani
River on the coastal road.
There were no casualties.

We who are Christians
are learning to take seri-
ously the words of the
theologian Dietrich
Bonhoeffer, martyred by
the Nazis for complicity in
the July 20, 1944 attempt
on Hitler's life: "When the
synagogues burn today,
then tomorrow the churches
will be torched."
Bonhoeffer wrote this
wise observation at the
time of the Nazi-inspired
mob action remembered
as Kristallnacht (Nov. 10,
1938). Forty-five years is
enough time to elapse for
this lesson, taught by one
of the noblest spirits of
the Christian centuries,
to penetrate the

And when it does we shall
all — survivors and friends,
Jews and Christians alike,
Americans all — have rea-
son for confidence that our
children and children's
children shall see better
years of brotherhood than
the generation of the






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