Seven out of 10 Israelis can not forgive Germany for the Holocaust. The resistance is strongest among todays youth.
The survey, conducted by the “Geocatrographia Institute,” interviewed 500 men and women over the age of 18, a representative sample of the Jewish population in Israel.
Survey participants were asked, “Today, 65 years after the Holocaust took place in Europe, is it time to forgive the German people and Germany for crimes committed in the Holocaust?”
Twenty-three percent of respondents said that they forgive Germany, while 70 per cent said they do not. Seven percent said they are unsure.
The Center for Academic Studies noted that surprisingly, the older the respondents were, the more they agreed to forgive the German people.
Another noteworthy figure was the gap between the high number of secular Jews who were more forgiving toward Germany compared to the number of religious and orthodox respondents.
Aaron Bock, the spokesman of the Jewish community in Germany was surprised by the survey results, saying, “The number of forgivers is surprising. It seems that the Israeli public understands more than in the past that Germany should no longer be punished for the Holocaust because today there is a different Germany with Germans from another generation.
Source: Jerusalem Post
It is hardly possible to think about a more difficult example of forgiveness. The Bible is crystal clear:
Matthew 6: 14-15.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
If Jews are willing to forgive the Germans for the Holocaust, you forgiving even your enemies should be a simple cake walk. Of course, if you really believe in Jesus.
Forgiveness is very important.
I know of this Pastor who prayed for me once, and hails Puerto Rico, but travels all over the world to spread the Word of God. His son in law murdered his daughter. The man was convicted of murder and sent to prison. The Pastor visited the prison, and forgave him for murdering his daughter, and prayed for him to accept Christ as Savior.
I wish more people were like this. For we all have to face God one day soon, and he will see if you have hatred in your heart against another.
The bible says in Matthew 5:44-45 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
The poll really says nothing at all because the question was badly put.
If I put myself into the position of an Israeli, I would probably think that the holocaust is unforgivable, the guilty have carried their guilt to their graves. But I wouldn’t want to blame today’s Germans. So, what would I answer?
No, I do not forgive.
I certainly wouldn’t forgive the perpetrators themselves. Nor would I forgive the parts of the German population that were, by any reasonable standard, responsible for the holocaust. I would ask myself what I would have done during the third Reich as a non-Jewish German. I would feel entitled to judge all people who actively participated in the widespread racism (assuming that I myself am not a racist) as well as all who resisted less courageously than I’m sure I would have resisted. I would probably not want to forgive all these people if I had family members who were killed in the holocaust.
I wouldn’t forgive the Germans of today either because I would have nothing to forgive them for.
So, my answer would be: No, I do not forgive. That would be completely independent from my general impression of Germany or any experience I had with Germans.
Take a few thousand open-minded, friendly people who think like the imaginary Israeli version of me and you get the result of the poll. By simply publishing the results, you create the image of a hateful, unforgiving Israeli populace. That really is a shame.
First, let me say that I am neither German nor Jewish. However, i cannot forgive Germany and most of the German people for the Holocaust. Your comment is typical of the the reason why.
The problem is that it wasn’t just a few thousand or even a few million Germans who perpetrated the holocaust while most non-Jewish Germans were in the dark about what was going on. Everybody knew – you can’t miss seeing millions of your neighbors and compatriots disappearing. The purge was systemic throughout the German society. Indeed, just today, historians revealed that the number of slave labor sites, concentration camps, “care centers” for forced abortions, forced brothels for German soldiers, ghettos, etc., was far greater than previously estimated. It was over 42,500!!! So, no, this was not just a small part of the German population doing this.
Furthermore, the holocaust would never have happened if the Germans of that era had not been so overwhelmingly anti-Semitic, racist bigots who truly believed that they were a superior race. While a small, albeit still significant, percentage of Germans were the ones actually directly executing Jews and other “undesirables”, and a few million more worked in the aforementioned sites, that does not excuse the large majority of Germans who did nothing or benefitted from the labor and stolen property of their imprisoned and slaughtered countrymen, or most importantly, elected and continued to support the most evil regime and leader to ever exist. They are all guilty. Only the perhaps million or two Germans who were humane and just and bravely fought to protect their Jewish neighbors do not have blood on their hands.
Unfortunately, after the war, while a large majority of Germans accepted the their country’s collective guilt, too many failed to really understood that they as individuals were also guilty. This is why so many German parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were able to tell fairytales to their children and grandchildren that “they did not know” or that they somehow resisted. It’s all bullsh*t. They also failed to ostracize countless war criminals and absorbed them back into their society, and even into their political system.
This is why I cannot forgive the German people as a whole and most Germans. It’s not just the extent of their sins, but the fact that too many still do not understand or do not accept them.
I would also add that I do understand the sins of the parents, and prior generations. I am descended from some of the worst slave traders and owners of the American South and from the leadership of the confederacy. While I have worked for decades on civil rights issues and equality, I do not blame black Americans, especially older ones, who still have some degree of resentment or mistrust of whites IN GENERAL. I accept that because less than fifty years ago, an overwhelmingly white population in this country denied them their civil rights and regularly inflicted discrimination and violence on blacks. While I was born in the late 60’s, why should a middle aged black person think that I was not affected by the racist attitudes that I was exposed to and thus, have some degree of hesitation before they know me that I do not view them as 2nd class citizens or worse?
The Holocaust was much worse than the Jim Crowe laws of post civil war and 20th century, so why shouldn’t people view the average German as “guilty until proven otherwise” for the sins of their society and countrymen?
You said: However, i cannot forgive Germany and most of the German people for the Holocaust.
My comment: I understand the pain of losing someone. I also understand the heartache of what you would feel when someone has wronged you. But if we do not forgive those that have wronged us, how can we stand before Christ and expect him to forgive us?
Matthew 5:44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
I am with you 100% Lee
Of course the responses were different between non-secular and orthodox Jews! If we are following Jewish law, we are not able to forgive the Nazis, Germans,etc for anything. In order to do this the sinner must ask the person for forgiveness three times. This requires both the criminal and victim to be living. This is not the case for most who were involved. IMO, it is too early to purge ourselves of this hate….it was but a few generations ago. Even black Americans all don’t forgive the whites for their horrid treatment and that was many more generations past. Many survivors of the holocaust would rather not forgive. Their pain is private and many wish to hold onto it…the reasons are many. It is so much easier for people from this generation to extend forgiveness, which they have no right to do, because it did not happen to them.
BTW….it is not our place to offer any sort of forgiveness…that is G-ds job alone
Being I’m not the type to forgive or forget the Germany today and the future will always have to live with there rotten past no matter what time frame,the high tech form of murder makes it more evil then the past genecides.