The events of World War II and the Holocaust caused major emotional, spiritual and theological upheavals in religion, philosophy and culture around the world, but no more so than for Jews and Germans.
In a series of meetings in Jerusalem with leaders of major German, Austrian and Dutch Christian organizations, I asked a simple question: “Why did you get involved in supporting Israel?” As part of their personal stories, without exception, all pointed to the mass murder of 6 million Jews on European soil as the primary motivation to fulfill the biblical mandate for the Church to honor Israel. (Interviews with these leaders will be published in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!)
European society and the Church at large have avoided serious interaction with its antisemitic past. Around 1958 this began to change in part due to a new generation that wanted its questions answered and was able to look at the past with less personal and emotional involvement.
Especially influential was the trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961 in Israel. It confronted Germans and the entire continent with the darkest...
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