Today marks 70 years since the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated by the Red Army of the Soviet Union in 1945.
Pictures, audio and video footage highlight some of the horrific scenes experienced by those afflicted by Nazi ideology.
The depths of humanity’s capability to carry out evil is ingrained in the history of Europe.
What tugs at my heart is how so many people sacrificed and risked so much to help others during the Nazi reign of terror.
In the face of being found out, it could mean the same fate as those that you were trying to save.
This dark period of mass extermination, cruel torture and evil ideology is far from over.
Remembering Auschwitz is important for so many reasons:
- Honouring the lives that were lost.
- Standing alongside those that survived.
- Understanding a historical, life-altering and often, a world-shattering time for generations of individuals.
- It is important to understand the past so as not to make the same mistakes again.
- Seeing the evilness of the human heart and what it is capable of.
“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9
As Boko Haram slaughters thousands in Nigeria and spreads their wickedness to neighbouring states, anti-Semitism rises once more in Europe, the ongoing persecution of Christians in the Middle East continues to grow more persistently, poisonous radicalisation permeates the minds of many and leads them astray on a path of violence and extremism, tensions arise between world leaders, individuals care less about others and become more self-interested and masses of people are executed on the grounds of age, illness, religion, sexual orientation, disability, political views etc, I cannot help but feel that history is repeating itself. Different circumstances. Different players. Same evil.
Are we on the brink of forgetting what has gone before? More importantly, are we forgetting what God promises His people despite the suffering and the evil that is so prevalent in this world? Let me remind you of some of them:
- All things work together for the good of those that love God
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
- God promises salvation to all that believe in His Son Jesus Christ
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17
- God promises to comfort us in our trials
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
- God promises to meet our needs
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
- Jesus promises us rest
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
You may be weak, at your wits end, low, crushed, desperate, hurt. There is one thing that evil has not prevailed over. It can try. It can at times look like it will succeed. But there is victory. There is hope.
The promises of God stand.
Be encouraged and take heart whatever trial or circumstance you may be encountering right now. Pray for those who are suffering immeasurably more than we can imagine. Pray that the promises of God will be made known to them in their time of need. God is moving in ways that we cannot comprehend. We may feel unsure of tomorrow, with all its uncertainties and worries. But we have an Almighty God with everlasting promises that have stood and continue to stand the test of time. The clock is ticking for sin, evilness and rebellion against God. I know that I would want to be standing firm on God’s promises, not waiting for the tide to sweep me away in a rush of anxiety, fear and lack of hope.
In the words of a Holocaust survivor and Christian: