MembersLooking for Jesus in the Holocaust

Two Jews, one a Savior whose sufferings became the source of hope for millions, the other a survivor left alone with his grief.

By David Lazarus | | Topics: Holocaust, Jesus
Jesus in the Holocaust
Photo: Rick Wienecke

Many have tried to interpret Jewish suffering in Christian terms. Some Christians have even spoken of the extermination of the six million as a kind of crucifixion. Jewish suffering becomes, in a mystical way, the suffering body of Christ.

In 1979, when Karol Wojtyla came home to Krakow as Pope John Paul II, he called Auschwitz the “Golgotha of the modern world.” Such Christian spiritualizing, while commendable in its sentiment, only serves to eliminate anything Jewish from the very place where Jews were themselves eliminated. For if Jesus had been in Auschwitz, he would have died a nameless victim with a number on his arm.

Rick Wienecke, a Christian Israeli artist who considers himself “Messianic” does not shy away from the image of the crucifixion, even in its relationship to the Holocaust. Given the long history of Christianity blaming the Jews as tormenters of their Savior, rather than as “brothers” who shared his fate, looking for Jesus among the murdered masses of the Holocaust is admirable and sobering.


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