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
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.