Arbeit macht frei

Arbeit macht frei

Yesterday I received a very disturbing goodbye email from a former coworker who was leaving the company. I felt compelled to respond to the disturbing part of an otherwise nice “Thanks and Farewell” email. Here’s an excerpt of his email:

“What impacted me the most out of the last four years, however, was a documentary I stumbled on outside of work called the Greatest Story Never Told by Dennis Wise. I can’t say it was an enjoyable experience, but it moved me so much that I thought I’d share it with you despite my fears surrounding doing so. It won’t take long for you to realize why I didn’t inform you of it earlier, but at the same time I apologize for not having been brave enough to do it until now. You’ll understand these mixed feelings if you decide to watch it.”

Below is my response:

I’ve enjoyed working with you too. Sorry I missed you in person; I’ve been working from home since I broke my ankle on August 31, so I just got your email.

I don’t know about your religious beliefs; we’ve never discussed them. Since you opened the door to this, though, I pray you are a Christian, a true Christian who is opposed to all unjust violence. And who has a correct view of what/who is/was unjust.

Didn’t know anything about Dennis Wise; also never heard about Greatest Story Never Told. As you can see by following the links to the two items, there are a variety of opinions about this piece of work. Most of them oppose what I think is your view.

The majority of the German people I know – and that’s quite a few – are ashamed that their country was responsible for starting two world wars. They see Hitler as the psychopathic tyrant that he was, not some airbrushed cherry-picked whitewashed statue of the dear leader in the mausoleum of all the Jews, Slavs, and Christians he was responsible for murdering.

True Christians like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, not the German Christians who actively aided and abetted Hitler, or millions of people who stood by and fiddled while the Jewish ghettos were burned by the Nazis.

Jews in Germany and other countries were led away to the slaughter and their goods plundered, while (for good reasons) millions of good-hearted Germans were too afraid of the SS to say or do anything.

Bonhoeffer, a Lutheran pastor and a true pacifist, finally ended up part of a plot to assassinate Hitler because this drunken homicidal psychopath needed to be stopped from mowing people down on the sidewalk, so to speak. You can read a shorter version of Bonhoeffer’s story in Seven Men and The Secret of their Greatness.

Be careful who you hang around with. You become like those you spend time with. Anti-Semitic holocaust deniers (or those who say the Jews deserved it) are not who you want to be with. Ask any Allied soldier who liberated a concentration camp (much less a death camp like where Bonhoeffer faced a firing squad) what his view of Herr Hitler is; he will tell you the unvarnished truth – that Adolf Hitler was one of the most evil men who ever lived. Who had perhaps some even more ruthless people working for him.

Finally, I visited Dachau in Munich in 1981, probably before you were born. The sign on the gate was Arbeit macht frei, which was the pinnacle of irony. Real murders of six million people did occur, and the bogus reasons for why are shared by anti-Semitic people to this day.

Don’t be one of them.

Sincerely and bluntly,

Dale Murrish

P.S. For something funny we might agree on, watch this: Hitler finds out Donald Trump has won the Presidential Election, posted November 8, 2016.