What does based god mean

God and the Holocaust

By Michael Wolffsohn

The historian Michael Wolffsohn (AP)

Where was God in the Holocaust? This question strikes the heart of all Christian-Jewish things, far beyond the Holocaust, it affects victims and perpetrators, it shakes the foundations of the West, whose foundation was firmly based on belief in God. For the majority of victims and perpetrators, the possibility and factuality of the original crime of the Holocaust signals, indeed proves, that God cannot exist. According to the majority opinion, if God existed, there would have been no Holocaust.

The secularization or lack of religion, lack of faith and godlessness in contemporary western society can also be traced back to the original shock of the Holocaust. Certainly, lack of faith and godlessness began long before the Holocaust, but the massive victory of those far from God would be just as unthinkable without the Holocaust as without the approximately 60 million victims of communist crimes, i.e. without the criminals and their justifiers who still exist; no matter whether it is a question of brown national socialist or red communist crimes.

Most victims of the Holocaust and other mega-crimes are discouraged in their belief in God by the murder of six million Jews. They said and say something like this: "God would not have allowed this." Most of the perpetrators of the Holocaust, including those who followed and imitated them, were encouraged in their godlessness.

They said and say something like this, "I can kill as much as I want and nothing will happen to me." Today, friends of the perpetrators feel encouraged by Iran's president, to whom nothing happens and about whom parts of the western world are verbose but upset without consequences.

"Where was God in the Holocaust?" Ultimately, this is the age-old human question about theodicy, God's justice: How can God allow evil, evil and criminality? We find this question in the Hebrew Bible, the "Old Testament", for example in the Book of Job, as well as in the New Testament in connection with Jesus: How and why could God allow Jesus to be crucified and murdered?

It is not the question of God's righteousness and thus God's existence that is new, but the answer of modern man. The disciples, the early Christians and Christians, like Jesus dying on the cross, asked the psalmist, "My God, why have you forsaken me?", But they remained believers until modern times, until the Holocaust and other mega-crimes of the 20th century. Why? The traditionally believing Jews were believers who are believers (a minority as believers, but a growing minority among Jews), despite and after the Holocaust. Why?

Jewish and Christian believers in God are united by the original answer to the original question of God's justice. They do not ask what God has to do for man, but what man has to do for God in order to become man in the "image of God".

The punishment of Nebuchadnezzar, who destroyed the First Jerusalem Temple in 587 BC, could be understood by believing Jews in the sense of the prophets as God's punishment for known sins, including the chain of suffering of the Rome-related diaspora. Authentic traditions tell of deeply religious Jews who said before they were gassed in Auschwitz that this would be God's just punishment for their sins - even if they were not aware of any sins. Other Jews have interpreted the resurrection of the Jewish statehood, the founding of Israel, as God's contrast to the Holocaust. Without one, not the other. The world is, people are both good and bad.

Precisely because of their mass murderous badness, Hitler and other mass butchers are the absolute counter-image to human beings as "the image of God". Before and after the Holocaust, humanity thinks about God's being or not-being. Hopefully this fragment of thoughts and facts shows one thing: The Holocaust is unsuitable as evidence of God's non-existence.


Michael Wolffsohn, Historian, was born in Tel Aviv in 1947 as the son of German-Jewish emigrants. He came to Germany with his family when he was seven. After studying history, political science and economics in Berlin, Tel Aviv and New York, he worked at Saarbr├╝cken University until his habilitation. In 1981 he became professor of modern history at the Bundeswehr University in Munich. His publications include "Not Afraid of Germany!", "The Germany Files - Facts and Legends in East and West" and "My Jews - Your Jews".