The Holocaust and evolution
Contemplating the atrocities in East Timor, Kosovo, Bosnia, and Rwanda, many have wondered if the murderers could be brought to justice. But then, whose justice? This question was faced half a century ago when Nazi leaders were tried at Nuremberg after WWII. As Hitler was dead, Hermann Göring was the top surviving Nazi on trial. He claimed that the Nazis were on trial only because they lost the war, not because they were guilty of any crime—a trial of the victors over the vanquished.1 After all, the Nazis’ own laws permitted persecution of the Jews.
In his stunning opening address, the Chief U.S. Prosecutor, Justice Robert Jackson, appealed to ‘moral as well as legal wrong’ and ‘the moral sense of mankind.’2 Jackson clearly recognized that the Nazis had violated a higher, universal moral law against mass murder, no matter what their own laws said.
But how can there be an absolute moral law without an absolute moral Lawgiver? Jesus Himself noted in Mt. 15:19 that evil actions are always preceded by evil thoughts, and they come from a corrupt ‘heart’ (in biblical imagery the seat of the intellect and will). And before they committed their monstrous evils, the Nazi régime had already developed a corrupt way of thinking that excluded the commandments of God.
Justice Jackson noted that ‘The Nazi Party always was predominantly anti-Christian in its ideology’, and ‘carried out a systematic and relentless repression of all Christian sects and churches.’2 He cited a decree of leading Nazi, Martin Bormann: ‘More and more the people must be separated from the churches and their organs, the pastors.’2 Jackson cited another defendant, the viciously anti-Jewish propagandist and pornographer Julius Streicher, who ‘complained that Christian teachings have stood in the way of “racial solution of the Jewish question in Europe.”2
[Update 14 March 2002: another senior member of the US prosecution team at Nuremberg, General William Donovan, compiled a huge amount of documentation that the Nazis planned to destroy German Christianity systematically—see The Case Against the Nazis, The New York Times, 13 January 2002. Donovan’s documents were stored at Cornell University after his death in 1959, and are now being posted online at Rutgers Journal of Law and Religion. The first installment is the huge (108 pages) PDF file, The Nazi Master Plan: The Persecution of the Christian Churches.]
Instead, as documented in the current Journal of Creation,3 Nazis eagerly made use of the evolutionary concepts already entrenched in German academia. Note that the subtitle of Darwin’s The Origin of Species by means of natural selection was: The preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. Evolutionary teachings were simply carried to their logical conclusion by the Nazis who tried to exterminate the ‘inferior’ races like the Jews, Gypsies, and Slavs, as well as the ‘unfit’ (e.g. the handicapped). This is confirmed by the evolutionist Sir Arthur Keith, who wrote:
‘The German Führer, as I have consistently maintained, is an evolutionist; he has consciously sought to make the practice of Germany conform to the theory of evolution.’4
It was not just Nazi Germany, but the Allied nations as well. In fact, even before WWII, evolution had inspired forced sterilization programs in Lynchburg, Virginia, USA,5 and Vermont (Eugenics in Vermont).
However, the Western nations have not learned the lessons of the horrific wars and genocides this century. Evolution is today entrenched in our universities even more than it was in Nazi Germany.
Recently, Princeton University appointed the animal-rights activist Peter Singer to a Bioethics chair. Singer, an ardent evolutionist, is notorious for his support of abortion, euthanasia, and killing handicapped infants and old people (except his own mother, who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease).
And our report of the Columbine High School massacre documents the on-going effects of evolutionary thinking in the young (How to build a bomb in the public school system).
In the long run, society can be changed for the better only if individual hearts are changed. Creation magazine aims to undermine the destructive teaching of evolution, and to convince people to trust God’s Word instead.
References and notes
- Persico, J.E., Nuremberg: Infamy on Trial, Penguin books, NY, USA, p. 82, 1994. Return to text.
- Nuremberg Trial Proceedings Volume 2, The Avalon Project at the Yale Law School www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/imt/proc/11-21-45.htm Return to text.
- Bergman, J., Darwinism and the Nazi race Holocaust, Journal of Creation 13(2):101–111, 1999. Return to text.
- Keith, A., Evolution and Ethics, Putnam, NY, USA, p. 230, 1947. Return to text.
- Wieland, C., The Lies of Lynchburg, Creation 19(4):22–23, 1997. Return to text.