I’m watching Schindler’s list. I can’t help thinking ‘surely you could have just said you were atheist and they wouldn’t have persecuted you’. I’m on paper, a Christian (I was christened ) and yet I consider myself to be an atheist. I’d imagine I would be treated as a Christian in the eyes of the Nazi regime. What was the Nazi’s stance on atheism?”
I’m watching Schindler’s list. I can’t help thinking ‘surely you could have just said you were atheist and they wouldn’t have persecuted you’. I’m on paper, a Christian (I was christened) and yet I consider myself to be an atheist. I’d imagine I would be treated as a Christian in the eyes of the Nazi regime. What was the Nazi’s stance on atheism?”
Hitler and the Nazi’s did not care what you believed, only if you had any Jewish blood or any other anomaly they didn’t feel was refined enough for the German people. It would not have helped denying your religion:
Jews have always 2 types of enemies. The stories of Purim and Hanukah demonstrate the difference.
- At both times, we were under a cruel leader. Chanukah had Antiochus IV in the land of Israel (in 3586 – 174 B.C.E.). Representing the Greek empire he wanted to Hellenize all the Jews. Antiochus wanted to create assimilated Jews. He encouraged intermarriage (see the story of Judith), forbade brises, the guarding of Shabbos and the Jewish calendar. Acknowledging Rosh Hadosh (the new month) was against the law. He would have rejoiced seeing how assimilated Jews are today. Antiochus won. It was a spiritual battle.
- In 3392 (369 BCE) King Ahasuerus of Persia ascended the throne, ruling over 127 provinces. The King made a deal with Haman to get rid of every single Jew. They didn’t care if they were religious, intermarried 3 generations back, or wealthy; they just wanted to see every Jew dead. (this is the same as Hitler ). It was a fight against the Jews physical being.Chanukah and Purim
- That being said, I do have a story how my neighbor, Leah, survived as a child . She saw each one of her family was killed. Her story is (like all survivors) full of miracles. The time when a neighbor as a new SS came to shoot them, but wouldn’t do it. Being forced to march, she was carried in a car. She has many stories and has written a book. But she claims 3 things saved her:
- G-d’s protection (Her mother’s dying words were “Live, Remember,Tell the world” – so she needed to live.)
- She was young, blond hair and looked Aryan
- She spoke many languages without an accent (German, Hungarian, polish, Yiddish, Hebrew, and English to name a few). This saved her many times – it was a way the Germans seek out Jews – looking for the Yiddish accent or knowledge of the language. She also was able to save one of her benefactor by understanding the Germans who came into the inn where the benefactor owned. She knew they were planning on crashing the place.
Check out her book – https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Live+remember+tell+the+world
I have received 2.8K views on this answer and 37 upvotes – people who agreed and clicked on Quora. https://www.quora.com/How-easily-could-you-have-hidden-the-fact-you-were-Jewish-to-escape-persecution-in-Nazi-Germany/answer/Tziyona-Kantrowitz
I want to be part of telling the world!