I know many of you may reject what I’m about to say, but I see us as Christians in America in the same place the Jews found themselves in 1935 in Nazi Germany. Yes, you heard me right. I see us as living in Germany in 1935. The parallels are striking.
Just this last week, we discovered the Rule of Law in America is dead. The Supreme Court now changes law to push its own agenda and has become, like the Executive and Legislative branch of our government, compromised and untrustworthy. In essence, the Republic we’ve all come to love and respect is no more. It has been replaced by those who will twist and manipulate the Law and media to fit their own desired end. Widespread corruption, habitual lying, and dishonesty in the highest places, in all three branches of our government, leave us distressed as citizens of this great country.
But the same thing happened to the citizens of Germany in the early 30’s. They also saw their sacred institutions, the church, the school, the family, and the government, hijacked and taken over by unscrupulous, evil men who would stop at nothing to achieve their selfish ends.
And what was the result of those ends? World War II. Over 60 million people dead, which was over 3% of the earth’s population in 1940. And the atrocities against the Jews? Utterly unthinkable. That is until we discovered the ovens of Dachau, Auschwitz and Ravensbruck.
“But, that could never happen to us in America.”
“But, that could never happen to us in America,” you say. Why? Because we’re better or more loving or more tolerant than the good citizens of Germany? Open your eyes and look around. Read the headlines. Do you see a sense of civility and tolerance towards the church today? Have you read the vile and vicious comments made by the good citizens of this country to those who hold, for example, a Biblical view of marriage? Do you trust your President to do what is honorable and right according to the Law? Or have you forgotten Benghazi, the IRS targeting of conservative groups, the ATF and “Fast and Furious” scheme, among countless others. And, of course, there are the cover ups and almost criminal delays in trying to get the Government to honor subpoenas by the Congress or Freedom of Information requests from others to try to get to the bottom of all these scandals.
Don’t be naive or deceived. We are living in Nazi Germany in 1935. And for the church, we’d do well to remember what that means.
“Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”
Edmund Burke once said, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”
And Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel also said, almost prophetically, “The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.”
Let that not be said of the church today.
For the next couple of days I will post the timeline of events in Nazi Germany beginning in 1933 until the start of WWII. That’s just six short years. Look at how quickly the Nazi’s consolidated power and enacted laws that first marginalized, and then systematically tried to destroy the Jews. And see if you, like me, can find shocking parallels of the same agenda being carried out today against the church and Christianity in our own country.
Read these timelines and take heart. Learn from history. Glean wisdom and understanding from the mistakes and failures of those who have gone before.
And remember, “Those who don’t know history are destined to repeat it.”
Let’s pray that cannot be said of the church.
Timeline of Events in Nazi Germany in 1933
January 4th – Franz von Papen (Chancellor of Germany in 1932 and replaced by General Kurt von Schleicher) secretly meets Hitler at the home of German banker Kurt von Schroeder.
January 15th – An election in the state of Lippe saw the Nazi Party win 38,000 votes out of a possible 90,000 – 39.6%.
January 22nd – Oskar Hindenburg, son of the President, and Otto Meissner, Chief of the Presidential Office, met Hitler.
January 28th – Schleicher resigned as Chancellor when German President Paul von Hindenburg refused to grant him another dissolution of the Reichstag (Parliament).
January 30th – Adolf Hitler appointed Chancellor of Germany. The Jewish population was 566,000.
February 1st – Hitler announced his “Proclamation to the German People” and promised new elections for March 5th. Hindenburg dissolved the Reichstag.
February 2nd – Hitler meets with top military leaders, describes his plans to rearm Germany.
February 4th – A decree “For the Protection of the German People” gave Hitler the power to ban political meetings and the newspapers of his political rivals.
February 17th – Hermann Goering issued a decree that ordered the police to make “good relations” with nationalists associations (SA + SS) but to make free use of their weapons against the Left.
February 22nd – Goering united the SA (Storm Troopers or Brownshirts), SS (Secret State Police) and Stahlhelm (Steel Helmet) into one single police force. Over 40,000 SA and SS men are sworn in as auxiliary police.
February 27th – The Reichstag building was burned down. It was officially blamed on the Communist.
February 28th – “The Emergency Decree for the Protection of People and State” was passed, which led to the suspension of civil rights, a ban on the left wing press and the rounding up and arrest of communist and socialist leaders. Over the next five months, the Nazis systematically force all opposition political parties to shut down.
March 5th – Elections to the Reichstag were held. The Nazis gained 288 seats (43.9% of the votes). The German National Party gained 52 seats (8% of the votes). Combined, this gave the Nazis a majority of support in the Reichstag.
March 6th – Communist and Socialist Party headquarters were occupied by the state police as were trade union headquarters. Buildings housing publishing companies associated with the left wing were also occupied.
March 9th – All states that were previously not loyal to the Nazis now had Nazi-loyal state administrations.
March 13th – Joseph Goebbels set up the Reich Propaganda Ministry.
March 15th – The German press received its first directive from Goebbels.
March 16th – Hjalmar Schacht replaced Hans Luther as President of the Reichsbank.
March 20th – Heinrich Himmler announced the establishment of a concentration camp at Dachau.
March 21st – The newly elected Reichstag sat for the first time.
March 22nd – The Interior Ministry set up a racial hygiene department.
March 23rd – The Enabling Act was passed by the Reichstag that gave Hitler the power to enact laws without the involvement of the Reichstag.
March 28th – The first open attacks by the SA against Jewish businesses occurred. Gleichschaltung was introduced – the forcible removal of all known opponent to the Nazis.
April 1st – An official one-day boycott of Jewish shops took place. Literature produced by the Jehovah’s Witnesses was banned.
April 7th – A law for the “Restoration of the Professional Civil Service” was introduced that banned all Jews and non-Germans from public service.
April 26th – The Gestapo (Secret State Police) was established by Hermann Goering. The Nazis took over the local government.
May 1st – Hitler gave his “Day of German Labour” speech. Trade union offices were stormed by SA.
May 2nd – Trade unions were banned.
May 6th – The Deutsche Arbeitsfront (German Workers’ Front) was introduced to replace trade unions.
May 10th – Over 25,000 “Un-German” books were publicly burned in an “Action Against the Un-German Spirit” that was encouraged by Joseph Goebbels.
May 19th – The Reich government took on the task of regulating workers contracts.
June 22nd – The Social Democrat Party was officially banned.
July 5th – All political parties other than the Nazi Party were banned.
July 6th – Hitler declares the success of the National Socialist, or Nazi revolution
July 14th – A “Sterilisation Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Diseases” was passed.
July 20th – Hitler agreed a Concordat or Reichskonkordat with the Papacy.
September 22nd – The Reich Chamber of Culture is established with Joseph Goebbels as its figurehead. Jews were not excluded from the Arts.
October 14th – Hitler officially withdraws Nazi Germany out of the League of Nations and the World Disarmament Conference.
November 17th – The Nazi Party won 92% of the votes cast in an election.
November 24th – The Nazis pass a Law against Habitual and Dangerous Criminals, which allows beggars, the homeless, alcoholics and the unemployed to be sent to concentration camps.
November 27th – Strength Through Joy (Kraft durch Freude) and the Beauty of Labour organizations were introduced.
November 30th – The Gestapo is now given authority through greater Germany, and not just in Prussia.
December 1st – A law was passed that safeguarded the unity of the party and the state.
Next: 1934 in Nazi Germany