The signature under the typewritten words on yellowing sheets of nearly century-old paper is unmistakable: Adolf Hitler, with the last few scribbled letters drooping downward.
The date is 1919 and, decades before the Holocaust, the 30-year-old German soldier — born in Austria — penned what are believed to be Hitler’s first written comments calling for the annihilation of Jews.
“The danger posed by Jewry for our people today finds expression in the undeniable aversion of wide sections of our people,” Hitler wrote in German. “The cause of this aversion … arises mostly from personal contact and from the personal impression that the individual Jew leaves — almost always an unfavorable one.”
In one section, Hitler said that a powerful government could curtail the so-called “Jewish threat” by denying their rights. But “its final aim, however, must be the uncompromising removal of the Jews altogether.”
At the time, Hitler was serving in the German army, and had taken to riling up the troops with his anti-Semitic rants. A superior officer urged Hitler to put his ideas on paper.
Adolf Hitler (shown left-under x) during World War I with fellow German soldiers. The dog
had the name Fuchsl and was actually Hitler’s pet during the war until it was stolen from him.
Known as the Gemlich letter, the document was certified as authentic in 1988 by handwriting expert Charles Hamilton, who had revealed the infamous “Hitler Diaries” to be forgeries.
Adolf Gemlich created propaganda for the German army. Hitler wrote the letter to him at the suggestion of Captain Ulrich Mayr, to help popularize the notion that someone was responsible for Germany’s defeat in World War I.
Hitler signed his letter, “Mit vorzueglicher Hochachtung,” meaning with deepest esteem.
“This is a seminal document that belongs to future generations,” said the rabbi.
Early in his career Hitler was popular and many of the German people bought into his anti-semetic views. Does the atheist have an intellectual basis to condemn Hitler’s actions?
One of philosophy’s biggest problems is that anything exists at all and has the form that it does. Another is that man exists as a personal being and makes true choices and has moral responsibility. The Bible gives sufficient answers to these problems. In fact, the only sufficient answer is that the infinite-personal triune God is there and He is not silent. He has spoken to man in the Bible.
I am a big Woody Allen movie fan and no other movie better demonstrates the need for an afterlife than Allen’s 1989 film Crimes and Misdemeanors. This film also brought up the view that Hitler believed that “might made right.” How can an atheist argue against that? Basically Woody Allen is attacking the weaknesses in his own agnostic point of view!! Take a look at the video clip below when he says in the absence of God, man has to do the right thing. What chance is there that will happen?
Crimes and Misdemeanors is about a eye doctor who hires a killer to murder his mistress because she continually threatens to blow the whistle on his past questionable, probably illegal, business activities. Afterward he is haunted by guilt. His Jewish father had taught him that God sees all and will surely punish the evildoer.
But the doctor’s crime is never discovered. Later in the film, Judah reflects on the conversation his father had with Judah’s unbelieving Aunt May during a Jewish Sedar dinner many years ago:
“Come on Sol, open your eyes. Six million Jews burned to death by the Nazi’s, and they got away with it because might makes right,” says Aunt May.
Sol replies, “May, how did they get away with it?”
Judah asks, “If a man kills, then what?”
Sol responds to his son, “Then in one way or another he will be punished.”
Aunt May comments, “I say if he can do it and get away with it and he chooses not to be bothered by the ethics, then he is home free.”
Judah’s final conclusion was that might did make right. He observed that one day, because of this conclusion, he woke up and the cloud of guilt was gone. He was, as his aunt said, “home free.”
The basic question Woody Allen is presenting to his own agnostic humanistic worldview is: If you really believe there is no God there to punish you in an afterlife, then why not murder if you can get away with it? The secular humanist worldview that modern man has adopted does not work in the real world that God has created. God “has planted eternity in the human heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This is a direct result of our God-given conscience. The apostle Paul said it best in Romans 1:19, “For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God has shown it to them” (Amplified Version).
It’s no wonder, then, that one of Allen’s fellow humanists would comment, “Certain moral truths — such as do not kill, do not steal, and do not lie — do have a special status of being not just ‘mere opinion’ but bulwarks of humanitarian action. I have no intention of saying, ‘I think Hitler was wrong.’ Hitler WAS wrong.” (Gloria Leitner, “A Perspective on Belief,” The Humanist, May/June 1997, pp.38-39). Here Leitner is reasoning from her God-given conscience and not from humanist philosophy. It wasn’t long before she received criticism.
Humanist Abigail Ann Martin responded, “Neither am I an advocate of Hitler; however, by whose criteria is he evil?” (The Humanist, September/October 1997, p. 2.). Humanists don’t really have an intellectual basis for saying that Hitler was wrong, but their God-given conscience tells them that they are wrong on this issue.
Crimes and Misdemeanors (Woody Allen – 1989) – Final scenes
Another example of how a God-given conscience is affecting a very popular singer can be found in Chris Martin of Coldplay Evidently Chris Martin who said he resented dogmatic religious views a few years ago, has now written a grammy winning song that pictures an evil king being punished in an afterlife. (Check out earlier post.) Could it be that his God-given conscience prompted him to put that line in? Or do men like Hitler get off home free as Woody Allen suggested in Crimes and Misdemeanors?
Other posts that deal with Coldplay:
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Are Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin looking for Spiritual Answers? (Coldplay’s spiritual search Part 4)
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Insight into what Coldplay meant by “St. Peter won’t call my name” (Series on Coldplay’s spiritual search, Part 3)
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Will Coldplay’s 2011 album continue on spiritual themes found in 2008 Viva La Vida? (Series on Coldplay’s spiritual search, Part 2)
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Will Coldplay’s 2011 album continue on spiritual themes found in 2008 Viva La Vida? (Series on Coldplay’s spiritual search, Part 1)
Coldplay performing “Glass of Water.” Back in 2008 I wrote a paper on the spiritual themes of Coldplay’s album Viva La Vida and I predicted this spiritual search would continue in the future. Below is the first part of the paper, “Coldplay’s latest musical lyrics indicate a Spiritual Search for the Afterlife.” Coldplay’s latest musical [...]
Coldplay – Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall (Official) The new single – download it now from iTunes at http://cldp.ly/itunescp (except in the UK, where it will be released to download stores at 12.01am on Sunday June 5th). Written by Berryman / Buckland / Champion / Martin / Allen / Anderson. Produced by Markus Dravs, Dan [...]