The Last Judgment

.The Last Judgement.

  1. Let them vanish like water that runs off; *
    let them wither like trodden grass.
  2. Let them be like the snail that melts away, *
    like a stillborn child that never sees the sun.
  3. Before they bear fruit, let them be cut down like a brier; *
    like thorns and thistles let them be swept away.
  4. The righteous will be glad when they see the vengeance; *
    they will bathe their feet in the blood of the wicked.
  5. (Psalm 58:7-10)

Yesterday I came across an article in The Age, an Australian Newspaper (HT: Touchstone) about the fact that some folks believe they’ve found 39 living relatives of Adolf Hitler. The majority of these relatives live in Austria while three live in the United States under assumed names (for obvious reasons). Those who live in the US are decedents of Hitler’s uncle, and they fled Germany as refugees from the Nazis.

I bring this up because it is a natural human reaction to want all memory of those who do evil wiped from the face of the earth. Consider the selection above from Psalm 58–obviously such sentiments aren’t new. That impulse, though, can itself be evil. Something that stood out to me in the article from The Age was this bit from the closing section:

”The American relatives have agreed not to have children to extinguish the saga of Hitler and stop living in fear, but have promised to publish a book before they die,”

If these cousins of Hitler don’t want to have children, that’s their business, but from the phrasing of the article it seems that they’re motivated more than a little by a sense of guilt. And for what? Guilt by genetic association? Isn’t that exactly what the Allies fought against? The way the article makes it seem, the family was under pressure not to continue the line, they “agreed not to have children to extinguish the saga of Hitler.” I have news for anyone that thinks such a decision will extinguish the saga of Hitler: it ain’t gonna happen, and it’s absurd and foolish to the extreme to believe it would. What Hitler did, he did because of his own sin–a sin that, by the way is not restricted to a specific genetic line–after all, Mao, Pol Pot and Stalin weren’t relatives of Adolf, but they certainly have more in common with him than do two of his cousins who live as gardeners and one as a psychologist in the United states.