2,000 Years in the Making

by Alanna Berman June 30, 2010


Gabriel Wilensky’s first book, “Six Million Crucifixions: How Christian Teachings About the Jews Paved the Road to the Holocaust” traces the history of the Christian church (and specifically the Vatican) to plausible causes of the Holocaust. The author’s lifelong fascination with the subject and years of research culminated in his very detailed book on the subject.

With a foreword by world-renowned Holocaust scholar John K. Roth and endorsements by several Holocaust survivors, the book traces 2,000 years of history in an easy to read format.

Says Wilensky of the topic, “The role of the German churches during the Nazi era and legal aspects of crimes that members of the clergy committed before, during and after the Holocaust is largely unknown by those young Christians raised after the second Vatican council in 1965.”

Based on this view that many Christians live unaware of the Church’s history of Jewish persecution, Wilensky says he wrote his book to raise awareness about the series of events that led up to the Nazis’ Final Solution. This includes the silent acts of the Church and its members.

“The silence of the church is deafening,” Wilensky says. “[The clergy] hid information from the public. Pope Pius XII held the interest of the Church first, and the Church never saw fit to publicly denounce the Holocaust, never called Nazis murderers and never mentioned that the Jews were victims. This pattern of silence began long before.”

Wilensky says the silence of the Church was not as bad as its support for the Nazi party. He says the clergy had many chances to prevent the events that eventually led to the holocaust.

“The Church materially helped the Nazis from the 1930s on, providing them with baptismal records — needed in Germany because Jews there dressed and spoke like everyone else — which showed who was a Christian, and by exclusion who was not,” Wilensky says.

Wilensky, who was born in Uruguay, came to the U.S. more than 20 years ago to work in the computer software industry, but he says the Holocaust has always fascinated him.

“I remember very clearly reading countless books, and I could never really comprehend why the Germans and their helpers did what they did,” he says. “I knew there was propaganda and brainwashing, but it seemed to me that something was missing. Not only Germans, but also Ukrainians and Latvians, did what they did because they already felt a visceral hatred toward Jews. It had been ingrained in their minds by their church and priests.”

Wilensky had been compiling research for almost a decade before he decided to write the book, which he originally wanted to be a fictionalized novel.

“I initially wrote [the book] as a novel, but after I did, I realized it didn’t really work as a novel because it was too history-heavy, so I scrapped the novel and rewrote the whole thing as a nonfiction book,” he says.

The final product tells the story of the Church and its relationship with the Jews chronologically from the time of Jesus’ crucifixion to the end of World War II, with legal analysis of crimes committed by clergy before, during and after the Holocaust. The final section details recommendations for the future.

“Anti-Semitism has a way of morphing itself into many different forms,” Wilensky says. “The religious, racial form [of anti-Semitism] in the 19th century has grown into the new anti-Semitism, which is political and manifests itself as anti-Israelism or anti-Zionism. Many people in academia and in Europe in particular express their anti- Jewish feelings in the form of anti-Israel feelings, but they don’t understand why they are so inclined to protest everything that Israel does. People have suppressed the anti-Semitism for so many years and have found a way to express it in a way that is politically correct. I hope my book will raise awareness to this problem and show that something very wrong was done, and that it’s manifesting itself now in other ways.”

Wilensky, who was raised Jewish, no longer practices any formal religion, but he admits that being raised in a Jewish household affected his fascination with the Holocaust.

“Based on the number of books and novels and movies made, the Second World War is the biggest, most satanic thing of all time,” Wilensky says. “The Holocaust is the biggest event like this ever perpetrated; there is no other example of something so horrible as the Holocaust. This particular type of genocide is unique because the hatred was very visceral and ingrained in the psyche of the people,” Wilensky says.

Wilensky explains that he does not intend to argue that all Christians hate Jews, or that all Christians during the Holocaust went along with Church teachings in silence.

“There were many thousands of Christian individuals who helped the Jews, including those who risked their lives to save the Jews…by hiding them or providing shelter in some way, or helping in any way they could,” he says.

Wilensky notes the best example of Christians acting as righteous gentiles was the reaction of the Danish Lutheran Church during World War II. The church created a campaign to defend Jews, writing sermons and reading them from every pulpit in every church in the country

“They taught [church goers] that killing Jews was wrong and they needed to do everything in their power to help,” Wilensky says.

The king of Denmark even made all citizens wear a yellow star so Nazis couldn’t identify which people were the Jews.

“There was a general mobilization of the country instigated by the Church,” Wilensky says. “The end result was that many Jews were transported to neutral Sweden, and a very large percentage of Denmark’s Jews survived the war.”

Through his research, Wilensky has found that all genocides include certain components, which other factions of the Church helped to facilitate through their negative teachings about Jews.

“[In genocide] there needs to be a prejudice or a preconceived idea about the victims that is widespread and that everybody shares,” Wilensky says. “There also has to be a participation or a promotion of genocide from the government. Without approval by the government, genocide does not really happen, so at the very least these two things need to be present. In the case of the Holocaust, the hatred had been there for almost two millennia, but [the Nazis] only needed to light the match.”

Wilensky will discuss his book and findings at the Central Library in downtown San Diego at 6:30 p.m. July 28. The event is free and open to the public. For more information about the book or the discussion, visit the author’s Web site at www.sixmillioncrucifixions.com.


6 thoughts on “2,000 Years in the Making

  1. Please note there was a change of date for the talk at the San Diego Public Library. Instead of July 28th, the new date is Wednesday, July 21st. Same location and same time.

    Hope to see you there!

    Gabriel Wilensky

    Six Million Crucifixions:
    How Christian Teachings About Jews Paved the Road to the Holocaust
    Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sixmillionbook
    Become a Fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SixMillionCrucifixions

    1. Can you address the following for me, since its not addressed above?

      Pinchas E. Lapide in “Three popes and the Jews” (1967),

      Catholic Church under Pius XII was instrumental in saving 860,000 Jews from Nazi death camps (p. 214)
      given that this book was in 1967, hows this deafening silence?

      How does the author handle the Hochhuth play “The Deputy”, which is where this idea of silence, complicity and such (ignoring inconvenient facts) got started..

      any comment as to the work of Jenoe Levai [The Church Did Not Keep Silent]?

      is there a refutation of Einstein?
      Being a lover of freedom, when the revolution came in Germany, I looked to the universities to defend it, knowing that they had always boasted of their devotion to the cause of truth; but, no, the universities immediately were silenced. Then I looked to the great editors of the newspapers whose flaming editorials in days gone by had proclaimed their love of freedom; but they, like the universities, were silenced in a few short weeks…

      Only the Church stood squarely across the path of Hitler’s campaign for suppressing truth. I never had any special interest in the Church before, but now I feel a great affection and admiration because the Church alone has had the courage and persistence to stand for intellectual truth and moral freedom. I am forced thus to confess that what I once despised I now praise unreservedly.

      how does trying to protect church property from confiscation by sociliasts with Concordat with the Reich on July 20, 1933 turn into a deal in support of nazi?

      what about the facts that everytime a religious leader spoke out, the germans took it out on jews and chrisitans in the camps… or are we to forget the OTHER 6 million victims of Aktion t4 and Aktion T14?

      please note the date and remember the date of the end of the war..

      The New York Times editorial on December 25, 1941
      The voice of Pius XII is a lonely voice in the silence and darkness enveloping Europe this Christmas… he is about the only ruler left on the Continent of Europe who dares to raise his voice at all… the Pope put himself squarely against Hitlerism… he left no doubt that the Nazi aims are also irreconcilable with his own conception of a Christian peace.

      a year later

      The New York Times editorial on December 25, 1942
      This Christmas more than ever he is a lonely voice crying out of the silence of a continent… Pope Pius expresses as passionately as any leader on our side the war aims of the struggle for freedom when he says that those who aim at building a new world must fight for free choice of government and religious order. They must refuse that the state should make of individuals a herd of whom the state disposes as if they were lifeless things.

      1. artfldgr,
        After reading your catalogue of standard excuses for Pius XII, I was going to refer you and anyone else interested to the responses that I have poublished at my http://JesusWouldBeFurious.Org/RCscandal site (and to the 4th page on that site in particular. But I see that Mr. Wilenski has already rebutted your arguments. But, check out my site if you want a lot more detail and sources, etc.
        P.S. If you got your list from the Rabbi Dalin book, see my http://jesuswouldbefurious.org/Hitlerspope.html where I contrast Dalin’s “comic book” to the scholarly books that he has the temerity to challenge with his childish arguments.

  2. artfldgr, as you may know, Lapide’s book has been discredited, and no serious scholar takes it seriously. Not surprisingly, the book is taken as gospel by papal apologists. As an example of the bogus information in it, the 860,000 number of Jews the pope supposedly saved comes from Lapide assuming that all the survivors who were not accounted specifically in Soviet or Allied records must have meant the Vatican saved them. This of course is ludicrous. Lapide, like Golda Meir and other Jewish or Israeli politicians were simply trying to garner much needed Vatican support for the State of Israel. Despite praising Pope Pius, the Vatican failed to recognize the State of Israel until 1993, decades later. “The Deputy” is a work of fiction, and no one should take it seriously or as representative of historical fact. Leval’s book may be in the same category of other Jewish authors who may see things where there are none. Error of interpretation when it comes to this period, particularly given that the Vatican Secret Archives for the war years are still closed, is common particularly for people with an agenda.

    The Einstein quote you posted was reported in the December 23, 1940 issue of Time Magazine, so he must have said it before that date. This is important, because of a number of reasons: first, because as Einstein left Germany in the early years of the Nazi era, he never really experienced the reality and full extent of the persecution of Jews in Germany, or witnessed the ecclesiastical reaction to it; second, in 1940 the mass extermination of the Jews had not yet begun, so his comments referred to a period of relative calm compared to what would come after 1941; third, he was not referring to the church’s reaction to the extermination of the Jews, not only because it had not yet happened as I said above, but because the church never saw fit to issue a denunciation of the mass extermination of Jews and, fourth, because Einstein was a brilliant physicist, and quite possibly the most brilliant mind of all time, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he was informed of the details and particulars of what was going on in Europe or in the Vatican. As a matter of fact, the ecclesiastical reaction to the persecution of the Jews of Germany during the 1930s was pathetic. The German Catholic Church materially helped the Nazis identify who was a Jew. Most of the episcopate and the various churches in Germany enthusiastically supported Hitler and Nazism.

    The Concordat was not a deal in support of the Nazis. The Concordat was meant to protect Church interests in Germany, that’s all. The German Catholic Church supported the Nazis, though, but that has nothing to do with the Concordat.

    It’s not true that every time a religious leader spoke out the Germans took reprisals on Jews and Christians on the camps. Some times they may have done that, but given the frequency and commonality of German brutality toward camp inmates I don’t know if you can establish that correlation. In any case, there are several important cases of clerics speaking out with no consequences to anyone.

    Regarding the passages you quoted from the NYT, what did you expect them to say? Who were the writers? Maybe they were Catholic? Maybe the NYT was interested in selling newspapers to the millions of Catholics in the US? I ask this because if you compare what they said in those passages with the historical record of that period you have to wonder what they were talking about.

    Gabriel Wilensky

    Six Million Crucifixions:
    How Christian Teachings About Jews Paved the Road to the Holocaust
    Follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/sixmillionbook
    Become a Fan on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/SixMillionCrucifixions

  3. It is very interesting to see how christianity can be different, i’m a vaudois christian, and if you’re searching what was the “église vaudoise”, you can see that our people, who was the real christian people, whose forefathers where the first jews-christian, have been prosecuted by both roman catholic church and by algerian muslims, antisemitism is an abjection, and the french muslims imams and some catholics extremists are guilty, in France the crimes against us are increasing, like in Norway, the CEE is guilty too.

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