WASHINGTON – Today is Holocaust Memorial Day in Germany.
But the problem is few know it – and even more don’t remember what it’s all about.
One in five young Germans has no idea that Auschwitz was a Nazi death camp, a poll released this week showed.
Although 90 percent of those asked did know it was a concentration camp, the poll for yesterday’s edition of Stern news magazine revealed that Auschwitz meant nothing to 21 percent of 18-29 year olds.
And nearly a third of the 1,002 people questioned last Thursday and Friday for the poll were unaware that Auschwitz was in Poland.
Holocaust Memorial Day is the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz by Soviet troops Jan. 27, 1945, which Germany has marked since 1996 with official memorial ceremonies for Holocaust victims.
According to a report by independent experts commissioned by the German parliament and published earlier this week, about one in five Germans is latently anti-Semitic.
And that’s just Germany – the nation that sponsored the genocide against 6 million Jews and the extermination of 6 million others.
The awareness of who Adolf Hitler was and what the Holocaust represented is far less understood elsewhere – particularly among young people in the U.S.
When best-selling author Ray Comfort promised his publisher, WND Books, that he would produce a companion movie for his new release, “Hitler, God, and the Bible,” he really didn’t know what he was getting himself into.
Comfort did what he does so frequently and skillfully as the co-host, with actor Kirk Cameron, of a popular TV series called “The Way of the Master” – taking his video cameras to the streets and asking what people knew about the infamous German tyrant and mass murderer. He returned shocked – with footage of 14 people (mainly university students) who didn’t have a clue as to who Hitler was. When he posted the movie on the Internet, it received 2.1 million views in just over three months. Since then, hundreds of thousands of copies of the sensational 30-minute documentary “180” have been sold nationwide.
“Many have derided these students for their ignorance, but I put the blame at the feet of the American education system because it has dropped the ball on this one,” says Comfort. “Holocaust education in the United States is only mandatory in five states. That’s crazy! We are leaving millions in the dark about this recent and tragic part of human history.”
Now Comfort delivers the answer to the provocative and baffling question he asked of Americans last year in “Hitler, God and the Bible,” a sensational book designed as a series of titles – the next one scheduled for later in the year is called “The Beatles, God and the Bible.”
The author hopes that the book will be used not only to educate this generation, but to enlighten those who wrongly believe that the world’s greatest criminal was a Christian.
“It’s become popular to label Hitler as a Christian because of his many references to God, but he only did what many politicians still do today,” says Comfort. “He used God for his own political agenda.”
Comfort added, “When I was researching Hitler’s life, I was sure that I would uncover his motive for killing so many Jews. But all I found were theories – that he perhaps contracted syphilis from a Jewish prostitute; or that he was possibly bitter that a mainly Jewish panel rejected his paintings, or that he was probably jealous that many Jews were able to financially ride out the Great Depression. But it makes no sense that anyone would kill 6 million people, just for these reasons. In the book I have uncovered another motivation as to why he murdered so many – and it’s one that makes perfect sense.”
Comfort, who is Jewish, also said that it was extremely important to include graphic Holocaust pictures in the book, “Because, in this case, a picture truly is worth a thousand words. I wept more than once as I wrote this publication. This is a horror beyond words that we must never forget, because it must never happen again, and the only way to make sure that it doesn’t is to preserve history.”
Randy Jones, president of Word of Truth Ministries, said, “Any book by Ray Comfort is thought-provoking and life-changing. This book is no different – it’s so relevant, yet timeless. He is the best there is at addressing complex and puzzling issues, in a clear understandable way.” Tim LaHaye, co-author of the wildly successful “Left Behind” series, who wrote a foreword for the book, said of “Hitler, God and the Bible,” “Ray Comfort is to be commended for this well-researched and well-written account.”
Media interested in booking Ray Comfort to discuss his new release are encouraged to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.