Seventy years after it took place, the Holocaust committed against the Jews of Europe during World War II continues to cast a giant shadow over humankind. Man’s inhumanity to man is not a thing of the past. Genocidal action is still commonplace around the globe. Has humankind learned the lessons of the past? Is the human race doomed to live in a perpetual state of war and self-destruction?
Explaining the Holocaust shows how, given the right circumstances, human beings can lose their humanity. Does that mean that the ethical teachings of the major religions are wishful thinking?
This book tackles two questions that continue to be asked by people everywhere: Why did a highly civilized nation like Germany, in the middle of the twentieth century, commit the most heinous crime in all of human history? And if indeed there is a loving God who made a covenant with the people of Israel, why were millions of innocent, peaceful Jews dehumanized, starved, tortured, and systematically murdered?
Explaining the Holocaust spares no one in discussing the enormity of the evil. But it also shows how the divine spark in human beings did not die during those years of darkness, and why we still have a glimmer of hope.
“Explaining the Holocaust is balanced, graceful, and probing. Including both Jewish and Christian theological responses to the Holocaust, as well as voices from around the world, Rabbi Schreiber presents an historical overview of the Holocaust and Holocaust studies. His style is personal, engaging, and conversational, yet also reveals his extensive knowledge and erudition. An excellent book for small-group discussion.”
–Alice Ogden Bellis, Professor of Old Testament, Howard University School of Divinity