Daily Archives: 9 Nov 2019

Das Novemberpogrom

Das Novemberpogrom in der Nacht vom 9. auf den 10. November 1938 – auch „Reichskristallnacht“ oder „Reichspogromnacht“ genannt – war eine vom nationalsozialistischen Regime aus organisierte und gelenkte Aktion gegen Juden und jüdische Einrichtungen im gesamten Deutschen Reich.

Mehr als 1400 Synagogen, Betstuben und Versammlungsräume wurden zerstört sowie Tausende von jüdischen Friedhöfen, Geschäfte und Wohnungen. 400 Menschen jüdischer Herkunft wurden in der Zeit vom 7. bis 13. November 1938 ermordet oder in den Selbstmord getrieben. Weitere Hunderte starben, als in den folgenden Tagen 30.000 Menschen in Konzentrationslager verschleppt wurden. Dieser in der neueren Geschichte der zivilisierten Welt ungeheuerliche Vorgang markierte die Wende von der Diskriminierung der Juden seit 1933 zur systematischen Verfolgung.

And much more. Never must we allow this kind of thing to happen again to any.  Which is precisely why we must never forget.

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Posted by on 9 Nov 2019 in Modern Culture


Luther’s Dark Side and its Horrifying Consequences: Kristallnacht

Many Germans were able to justify the barbarity and inhumanity of Kristallnacht because centuries before Martin Luther, the Reformer of Germany, said these words:

I had made up my mind to write no more either about the Jews or against them. But since I learned that these miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even us, that is, the Christians, I have published this little book, so that I might be found among those who opposed such poisonous activities of the Jews and who warned the Christians to be on their guard against them. I would not have believed that a Christian could be duped by the Jews into taking their exile and wretchedness upon himself. However, the devil is the god of the world, and wherever God’s word is absent he has an easy task, not only with the weak but also with the strong. May God help us. Amen.

So commences Luther’s most disgusting and disreputable book, On the Jews and Their Lies.  He continues further on

The sun has never shone on a more bloodthirsty and vengeful people than they are who imagine that they are God’s people who have been commissioned and commanded to murder and to slay the Gentiles. In fact, the most important thing that they expect of their Messiah is that he will murder and kill the entire world with their sword. They treated us Christians in this manner at the very beginning throughout all the world. They would still like to do this if they had the power, and often enough have made the attempt, for which they have got their snouts boxed lustily.


Finally I wish to say this for myself: If God were to give me no other Messiah than such as the Jews wish and hope for, I would much, much rather be a sow than a human being. I will cite you a good reason for this. The Jews ask no more of their Messiah than that he be a Kokhba and worldly king who will slay us Christians and share out the world among the Jews and make them lords, and who finally will die like other kings, and his children after him. For thus declares a rabbi: You must not suppose that it will be different at the time of the Messiah than it has been since the creation of the world, etc.; that is, there will be days and nights, years and months, summer and winter, seedtime and harvest, begetting and dying, eating and drinking, sleeping, growing, digesting, eliminating—all will take its course as it does now, only the Jews will be the masters and will possess all the world’s gold, goods, joys, and delights, while we Christians will be their servants. This coincides entirely with the thoughts and teachings of Muhammad. He kills us Christians as the Jews would like to do, occupies the land, and takes over our property, our joys and pleasures. If he were a Jew and not an Ishmaelite, the Jews would have accepted him as the Messiah long ago, or they would have made him the Kokhba.

Luther may not have written those things had he been gifted with the ability to see into the future and observe how his words would be used against human beings who deserved, and deserve, far better than that from a Christian theologian.  But he did write them.  And the law, the ruthless horrifying law of unintended consequences used those words as justification for what Germany did to the Jews from Nov 9, 1938 on.  And Luther is in part responsible.

Be careful what you write.  It can be used in a way you never imagined in 10,000 years.


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Posted by on 9 Nov 2019 in Church History, Total Depravity



A New Issue of ‘The Bible in the Arts’ Has Just been Published

Dear Colleagues and Friends

We are pleased to inform you, that the third volume of the free online journal “Die Bibel in der Kunst (BiKu) / Bible in the Arts (BiA)” has just been published: We kindly invite you to take a look at the new volume and to forward this e-mail to anybody to whom it might be of interest.

We also invite you to write an article for the journal. We look forward to receiving your contribution on a topic dealing with the reception and impact of the the Bible in the Arts.

With kind regards

Régis Burnet,
Susanne Gillmayr-Bucher,
Klaus Koenen,
Martin O’Kane,
Caroline Vander Stichele

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Posted by on 9 Nov 2019 in Biblical Studies Resources


Digging Up the Bible

A new book by Margreet Steiner that is available in several formats, including free to read online.

This is the account of a remarkable excavation. It started with a modest dig on an unremarkable tell in Jordan. The name of the tell does not occur in the Bible, and no ancient town of any importance was to be expected under the rubble. The excavator Henk Franken had not yet made a name for himself within the archaeological community.

And yet, from 1960 onwards history was being (re)written at Tell Deir Alla. To discover the secrets of the tell, the expedition team defied cold, rain and stormy winds for months on end, sleeping in rattling tents and working long days on the tell and in the camp. And with success! A meticulous yet efficient excavation method was introduced, the already tenuous relationship between Bible and archaeology was further exacerbated, and the study of excavated pottery was given a scientific basis. The name Deir Alla became an international benchmark for modern scientific research, for prompt publication of the remarkable finds and for independent interpretation of the excavation results.

The story of the excavations at Tell Deir Alla in the 1960s have never been told in any detail, and the excavation results have mostly been published in scholarly books and journals which are difficult to access. This book hopes to remedy that. It recounts the story of the first ten years of the project, from 1959 when funding for the project was sought, until 1969 when the first report was published. The first section describes the organization of the project before the expedition team went out into the field. The second part takes the reader to the actual field work and describes the occupation history of the tell. The story is illustrated by numerous photographs and plans, many of which are being published for the first time.

With thanks to Jona Lendering for the tip.

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Posted by on 9 Nov 2019 in Archaeology, Biblical Studies Resources, Books, Modern Culture


The Story of the Theologian Who Plotted to Kill Hitler: And it’s Not Bonhoeffer

On this anniversary of Kristallnacht, a story of resistance to Hitler you may not know-

It was [79] years on November 9 since [Maurice] Bavaud, born in Neuchâtel, failed in his attempt to shoot Hitler at a rally in Munich because spectators in front of him raised their hands for the Nazi salute.

He was arrested by the Gestapo in Paris and eventually admitted his plans under torture. He was tried on December 18, 1938 and sentenced to death. He was guillotined in the Berlin-Plötzensee prison on May 14, 1941.

Bavaud’s father attempted to rehabilitate his son, resulting in a court decision of December 12, 1955 reversing the death sentence but posthumously condemning Bavaud to a five-year sentence, arguing that Hitler’s life was protected by law just like any other life.

A second verdict of 1956 reversed the prison sentence and Germany paid Bavaud’s family the sum of SFr40,000 in reparation.

The Swiss government admitted in 1989 and again in 1998 that the Swiss authorities had not made a sufficient effort to save Bavaud.

NBC news adds this snippet of detail-

Student Maurice Bavaud, 25, who was from the western Swiss town of Neuchatel, was executed in Berlin’s notorious Ploetzensee prison after failing in his attempt to shoot Hitler at a Nazi parade in Munich on Nov. 9, 1938.  By coincidence, Bavaud made his attempt just hours before Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, when Nazis destroyed synagogues and Jewish businesses across Germany and Austria.

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Posted by on 9 Nov 2019 in Church History


Rudolf Bultmann: The Morning After Kristallnacht

bultmann22As related by Kurt Anders Richardson on FB-

Some years ago as a visiting prof at Uni Marburg theologische Fakultaet, I was told several times by different people about a certain non-lecture event. On the morning after that first Nazi pogrom, “Kristallnacht”, the regular lecture of Rudolf Bultmann was to take place.

His usual hall was on the third floor in the south east corner of the building with windows on two sides. For years the view had included the Synagogue of Marburg; but now, it was a smoking foundation.

Bultmann walked in at his usual time to a packed and silent room, everyone braced to hear what he might have to say – although all were now fearful to say anything. He came to the lectern, opened his folder, but immediately turned away from the students, walking over to the windows. For the entire period Bultmann stood staring out the window at the empty space and made no sound whatsoever. At the end of the time he returned to his notes, closed the folder, and walked out of the room.

Sometimes, many times indeed, silence speaks loudest of all.  Bultmann became a member of the Confessing Church and an inveterate foe of the ‘German Christians’ and Naziism.  Because of his standing he was left alone.  Had he been a man of less importance there is no reason to believe he wouldn’t have died in a death camp.


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Posted by on 9 Nov 2019 in Modern Culture


Kristallnacht: An Observation

Kristallnacht- proof of the existence of true evil. #NeverForget #NeverAgain

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Posted by on 9 Nov 2019 in Modern Culture