What Good Came from the Holocaust?

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            Something came to me as I researched the Richey Boys for my previous post. What good came from the Holocaust? Of course, the Holocaust itself was unspeakably evil. However, it’s possible that, if it hadn’t happened, we might all be speaking German today.

            Crystal’s recent thoughtful birthday present was an Ansestry.com membership. I wasn’t in the least surprised that I am a full 50% European Jew, and more specifically German Jew, and nearly 50% German. Maybe that’s why I hate myself. KIDDING!!! At any rate, the results were no surprise. Both of my parents were German (Dad being Jewish) with their own Holocaust experiences. It made me think about several thought provoking what/if questions.

            What/if Hitler had not singled out the Jewish population as the scape goats of Germany’s Post WW1 suppression? First, and most important, from my point of view, I wouldn’t be here. Second, there never would have been a group of German Jews (Richey Boys) responsible for over half of America’s Intelligence information gathering during the war (see last post).

            But possibly an even more significant event, the Manhattan Project, might not have led to the creation of the first A-bomb, and the war’s end. Of course, many of the Jewish project leaders such as Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman, Robert Serber, Frankel, Perlman, Weinberg, Bohn, and others, were instrumental in the project. Most were American born.

            However, Enrico Fermi, widely considered the ‘architect of the nuclear age’, emigrated from Italy in 1938 with the growth of Antisemitism. His wife, Laura Capon, was Jewish. Later that year, Fermi won the Nobel Prize in physics for the creation of the first nuclear reactor.

            I have a couple of interesting side notes. First is that that reactor is buried just a few miles from the home where I grew up. I stumbled upon the site while on a Boy Scout hike in the Chicago Area Forest Preserves. It is in the middle of a deeply forested area, with a fallen rusted fence and what looked like, a couple of dilapidated air plane hangars. A large rock with an affixed commemorative plaque is the only tribute to its existence. You almost have to get lost to find it. Another side note is that my dad took a class with Dr. Fermi, while attending the University of Chicago. He proudly shared that fact with me when I was too young to understand the significance.

            Now hear is my final what/if. If Hitler hadn’t hated the Jews enough to send many equally brilliant German physicists to his concentration camps, or forced them to flee Europe, his own heavy metal experiments might have proved successful. How would the war’s outcome have changed had Germany invented a nuclear weapon first. Food for thought, if nothing else.

            A second effect from this time was to spread God’s people from Europe, to other locations throughout the world. Hopefully, their message has followed.

            I will leave you with one final thought from the Bible. “When bad things happen to good people, God can turn them for our good” Daniel 1:3-4. Truly, God’s wisdom wins out, even when we act as idiots. Praise God.

Dad and I in October 2009 at the site where the 1st nuclear reactor is buried. Sorry about the angle. I had to set my camera in the grass. Mom wasn’t going to walk that far.

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