Forgive Them, For They Do Not Know What They Are Doing
Sometimes in life, we will see those that we know and love do horrible things. The reason for this atrocious behavior might just be because they are trying to live in a demented world. In some cases, this “fitting in” might actually be because of mass fear psychosis and brainwashing.
The story that I am going to tell you today is a true story from World War II. I am NOT candy-coating anything – this really happened and the truth is sometimes not easy to hear.
I have a cousin who was a boy during the war (World War II). He was about 10 or 11 years old during this true life story. His family was living in a bustling little town in Austria.
I first need to “set the stage” – you may not realize that the Nazis used the mass media to propagandize common everyday people. They spread blatant lies about the Jewish people all over the newspapers and radio. The Nazis said that "the Jews were filthy, unhygienic people spreading diseases everywhere." They repeated such hatred nonstop, almost mesmerizing or hypnotizing the mass non-Jews (and it worked)! The townspeople literally feared and hated the Jews.
When the Nazis captured some Jewish people (young and old, sometimes even an entire family), they would tie them up in the town square. My cousin described his memory to me as if they were tied to a stake with their hands tied behind their backs. The Nazis then encouraged the non-Jewish townsfolk to put pins and needles under these poor Jews’ fingernails!!! (While they were tied at the stake!!!!!)
My cousin remembers hiding behind a tree and watching adult townspeople, who he was taught to respect, place pins under these seized Jewish people’s fingernails. He remembers watching his childhood friends, boys of 11 or 12 dashing over to the captured Jew and quickly slipping a needle under the fingernail almost as if it was a game or a dare.
Thankfully, my cousin never partook of preforming this torture but he wrestled with trying to understand why his “friends” would do such horrific things.