Who Did Hitler and the Nazis Kill?

Who Did Hitler and the Nazis Kill?

Richard Hollerman

The Christian knows that he is “of God” but that “the whole world lies in the power of the evil one” (1 John 5:19). Thus it is not at all surprising that the followers of Jesus will view human society and culture with a completely different mindset than is found in the world. We find this to be especially true when we examine the Second World War, the Third German Reich, Hitler’s Mein Kampf, the Nazi party, and the eugenics movement.

The Christian looks back with dismay at the wickedness and atrocities committed by Adolph Hitler and the Nazi party in Germany in the 1930s and 1940s. As peace-loving “peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9) who strive for peace with everyone, the Christian is dismayed with the loss of life that occurred nearly a century ago before and during the Second World War.

Most of us have read or heard that this evil ruler killed about six million Jews (from Germany, Poland, and other places). This figure—6 million—sticks in our minds and we are touched by the human grief involved in this massive slaying. But we may tend to think that these Jewish people were the only ones murdered during this inhumane and wicked killing event.

Before we comment on this, let’s remember the reason for this murderous period. First, one chief reason was the underlying philosophy of evolution. The landmark book by Charles Darwin,   The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection,                         had as its subtitle, “or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life.” The point of this evil “handbook” of evolutionary philosophy was that some people on earth were more “advanced” and made of better stock, thus such people were further along the evolutionary “tree” and they should be encouraged to have children, whereas the less favored people were not as advance evolutionarily, thus they should be eliminated. In other words, Hitler (and his henchmen) were intent on “helping” the evolutionary process by promoting the “favored races” and eliminating the “inferior races.” Obviously, they presumed that the “Aryan” race was far more advanced than others, while certain other races were just a step beyond the ape! Darwin went on to explain more of his evil philosophy in the book, The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871) and The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872).

This was coupled with the philosophy of eugenics as outlined in Hitler’s book Mein Kampf, published in 1825 and 1826. This became the “Bible” for the Nazis. “In the book, Hitler wrote that Germans were superior because of their ‘racial purity.’ Therefore, they had the ‘moral right’ to conquer and displace the ‘lesser’ races of Eastern Europe and Russia. He wrote that the Jews were the main threat to ‘racial purity.’ The ideas in Mein Kampf formed the basis of German policies that helped lead to World War II and the systematic murder of millions of Jews and other Europeans” (World Book, “Mein Kampf”).

Eugenics refers to the philosophy that is “a method that aims at improving the human race by selection of parents based on their inherited characteristics.” Eugenists  want “to improve future generations by encouraging people who are above average mentally and physically to have more children” (World Book, “Eugenics”). This is labeled “positive eugenics.” Eugenists also propose that people who are below average mentally or physically have fewer children. This is called negative eugenics” (Ibid.). The source says that “Eugenics began with the research of Sir Francis Galton in the 1880’s, but it has not won widespread acceptance. Many people fear that a eugenics program would take away basic human rights, such as people’s rights to marry whom they choose. They also fear that control of reproduction might be misused. Many people object to such controls because of religious beliefs” (Ibid.).

During the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, eugenics became more widespread in England and the United States. Margaret Sanger, who began the organization, “Planned Parenthood,” was a strong proponent of the eugenics philosophy. Germany accepted the idea of eugenics and the desire to produce a “master race” based on Hitler’s Mein Kampf. The German Nazis took the principles of this philosophy so far that they were willing to actively kill certain people that they considered to be undesirable.

Again and again, we’ve read that Hitler murdered Six Million Jews. Yes, this must be correct. (Some few debate this figure and think that the whole holocaust was a myth, but it surely must be correct.) But why stop there? Why not explain further his devotion to eugenics and the outworking of this ungodly philosophy? Why even support Planned Parenthood and its founder, Margaret Sanger, who was so devoted to eugenics?

If the Nazi program was to eliminate those Hitler considered to be undesirable and promote those he considered to be the “superior race,” how was this worked out? Hitler considered the “Aryan race” (with its fair complexion, blue eyes, light hair, etc.) to be superior. Anything else was considered to be inferior. Thus, logically, he and his fellow Nazis, would have wanted to rid the world of blacks, Russians, Eastern Europeans, Middle Easterners, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and the like. Does this surprise us? It is just the logical outcome of his misguided and diabolical philosophy. It is the outcome of the eugenics idea.

Some have studied the number of people whom Hitler murdered during the 1930s and until 1945. Notice below the results of such a study. We will find that Hitler actively murdered Gypsies, the mentally retarded, the physically unfit, even some “Jehovah’s Witnesses,” as well as those who opposed the Nazi program.

Furthermore, let’s notice the wide range of people that were killed as the result of Hitler’s plan of conquest. This goes far beyond the fabled concentration camps and the murder of millions of Jews. This would include people killed during the Second World War and before.

Notice the study below:

Jews: up to 6 million

Soviet civilians: around 7 million (including 1.3 Soviet Jewish civilians, who are included in the 6 million figure for Jews)

Soviet prisoners of war: around 3 million (including about 50,000 Jewish soldiers)

Non-Jewish Polish civilians: around 1.8 million (including between 50,000 and 100,000 members of the Polish elites)

Serb civilians (on the territory of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina): 312,000

People with disabilities living in institutions: up to 250,000

Roma (Gypsies): 196,000–220,000

Jehovah’s Witnesses: around 1,900

Repeat criminal offenders and so-called asocials: at least 70,000

German political opponents and resistance activists in Axis-occupied territory: undetermined

Homosexuals: hundreds, possibly thousands (possibly also counted in part under the 70,000 repeat criminal offenders and so-called asocials noted above)

Now, let’s focus on the Jews who were killed by Hitler and his Nazi followers:

Jewish Loss by Location of Death

With regard to the number of Jews who died in the Holocaust, best estimates for the breakdown of Jewish loss according to location of death follow:

Auschwitz complex (including Birkenau, Monowitz, and subcamps): approximately 1 million

Treblinka 2: approximately 925,000

Belzec: 434,508

Sobibor: at least 167,000

Chelmno: 156,000–172,000

Shooting operations at various locations in central and southern German-occupied Poland (the so-called Government General): at least 200,000

Shooting operations in German-annexed western Poland (District Wartheland): at least 20,000

Deaths in other facilities that the Germans designated as concentration camps: at least 150,000

Shooting operations and gas wagons at hundreds of locations in the German-occupied Soviet Union: at least 1.3 million

Shooting operations in the Soviet Union (German, Austrian, Czech Jews deported to the Soviet Union): approximately 55,000

Shooting operations and gas wagons in Serbia: at least 15,088

Shot or tortured to death in Croatia under the Ustaša regime: 23,000–25,000

Deaths in ghettos: at least 800,000

Other*: at least 500,000

*”Other” includes, for example, persons killed in shooting operations in Poland in 1939–1940; as partisans in Yugoslavia, Greece, Italy, France or Belgium; in labor battalions in Hungary; during antisemitic actions in Germany and Austria before the war; by the Iron Guard in Romania, 1940–1941; and on evacuation marches from concentration camps and labor camps in the last six months of World War II. It also includes people caught in hiding and killed in Poland, Serbia, and elsewhere in German-occupied Europe.

https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10008193

We can thus see that Hitler and the Nazis killed not only Jews but many, many others—including Gypsies, the handicapped, the diseased, political opponents, homosexuals, religious cultists, and others. Let’s keep all of this in mind when we quote statistics.

A Deceptive Philosophy

As we consider the statistics above and compare them with Scripture, we can see the theory behind the Nazi plan and program. If we were to accept the evolutionary presuppositions and foundation of this view, and if we were to eliminate God and His Word from consideration, we can see that some of what the Nazi’s eugenics program stands for appears to make sense.

If God is eliminated and godless evolution is at work, it makes sense to think that man is getting better and better (physically, mentally, etc.) and that some people groups are more advanced than others. It makes sense. Just as certain animal species are better adapted to climate, just as certain of these animals can live longer and run faster and survive better, so it would seem that human beings also would be different, with some more intellectual or more physically fit or less prone to certain diseases. Yes, if we take the eugenics view and accept it as true (which it is not), we can understand how those in the eugenics movement in England, America, Germany, and elsewhere were working out their evolutionary plans.

But to the chagrin of eugenics proponents, we discover that some people can run faster from Ethiopia, or America, or Russia, or France. And some people from Japan, or China, or Italy, or Argentina may have a higher intelligence than others. This destroys a pure eugenics theory!

Ironically, Jesse Owens, a black American excelled at the Olympic Games that were held in Berlin, Germany, in 1936. This is how it was explained:

At the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, Germany, Owens achieved international fame by winning four gold medals: 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and 4 × 100 meter relay. He was the most successful athlete at the Games and, as a black man, was credited with “single-handedly crushing Hitler’s myth of Aryan supremacy”, although he “wasn’t invited to the White House to shake hands with the President, either”. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Owens).

Since the Nazis wanted to produce a super, purified, perfect race of people, it is logical that they would want to eliminate those whom they considered less evolved. They didn’t want their assumed super race to be diluted by inferior genes. This shows one reason why they would want to destroy those whom they deemed to be mentally inferior or had incurable physical defects and diseases. Just as a farmer would only breed the best of his animal stock of goats, sheep, cattle, or horses, and just as the farmer would kill a defective animal that must not “contaminate” the gene pool of his animals, likewise Hitler reasoned that we must have the same philosophy in regard to the human race.

It all sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? But it suffers from many faults! Genetics are not simple and we can’t just determine which specimens are superior and which are inferior. Further, the Nazis allowed their prejudice to determine who was to be considered superior and inferior. They were willing to destroy some of the best minds in Europe when they chose to kill the Jews! And they were willing to kill some of the best athletes who should have been acceptable to them since they wanted to produce a super race of physically-fit men and women. They were inconsistent, even in light of their evolutionary presuppositions!

God’s Word Speaks

When we approach the whole eugenics movement from the perspective of God’s Word, we see much more! Since God created the human race in the beginning (Genesis 1-2), He knows what is right and what is wrong. Human life is sacred since humanity bears the image of God Himself. This is why those who take this human life are to be executed themselves (see Genesis 9:6). This is why the terrible sin of abortion is so dreadful and wrong. Not only have 60 million babies been put to death in America but many hundreds of millions of additional infants have been murdered in other countries—such as Russia, China, Japan, India, Europe, and others. How hypocritical for Americans to complain about the Nazi slaughter of millions of Jews when they have been willing to slay 60 million babies—whether Jewish or Gentile!

We are aware that such terms as eugenics, Nazi, and the like are not found in the Bible. But since God’s Word is true (John 17:17) and is “able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12), we know whatever the Scriptures address is true, correct, and worthy of our acceptance. If God says that human life is sacred (Genesis 9:7), any denigration or destruction of this life is evil and sinful. If God says that all men and women are made in God’s image (Genesis 1:26-27), we must not presume to hold a philosophy that would despise anyone on earth! Whatever we may be ethnically, we must not look down on the Jews, the blacks, the whites, the Indians, or anyone else. All are creatures of God. All are lost in sin. And all need to know God through Christ Jesus to be saved from sin, death, and hell!

Will you join with me in repudiating Nazi eugenics that is based on the godless theory of evolution and join with me in accepting all that the written Word of God has said regarding the human race and God’s love for all? This is the only way of truth in this fragmented, ungodly, and wicked world! This is the way of the Lord!

–Richard Hollerman

 

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