Governor Mike Huckabee is in the midst of a 10,000-mile trek across Krakow, London, and California – retracing the steps of Pope John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher, and Ronald Reagan.
I was asked by the sponsor, David Lane of the American Renewal Project, to come along. Over 100 political and faith leaders are accompanying Governor Huckabee on his journey.
Our first stop was emotionally overwhelming… But it’s at this place that Huckabee’s mission became crystal clear.
A Painful Past: The Final Solution
We all congregated in the Nazi death camp, known as Auschwitz, near Krakow. Over one million prisoners died at Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Birkenau (a second camp built nearby) combined. The Nazis attempted to completely liquidate the Jewish race here. They called it the “Final Solution.”
Our guide called this place “the world’s largest cemetery without a grave marker. After gassing the men, women, and children, the Nazis burned their bodies and spread the ash on nearby agricultural land as fertilizer.”
At first, we entered the main gate, above which was written the Nazi slogan: “Work makes you free.” Upon arrival, Governor Huckabee gave a warning, saying that this is a place “where innocent, unarmed people were systematically murdered by the most educated, scientifically advanced, theologically trained, sophisticated, modernized, and knowledgeable Germans.” He called the camp “evil personified.”
Huckabee continued, “The very people who created the death industry and ‘scientifically’ and medically experimented on prisoners… went home every day, ate dinner with their families, played with their children, went to concerts, and lived normal lives – knowing all the while [that] those under their authority were living in horror.”
He said the camp “should be a sobering reminder that unless we stand against evil in our own time… it will happen again.”
The Nazi regime treated the camp as if it was a rendering plant. Nothing was wasted. They shaved the hair off prisoners to make cloth; they stole their shoes, clothes, and other belongings to be sold. They even pulled the gold teeth from their victims.
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Only the unthinkable and unimaginable took place in this camp.
Take Solace in This Thought…
This is not to say Governor Huckabee didn’t give us hope. He continued by sharing with the assembled leaders a story about visiting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The Prime Minister has an amazing photograph on the wall of his office. It is a picture of an Israeli F-16 flying over the main gate of this camp. The Polish government allowed the flyover on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. It was intended to show all that hope prevailed.”
We can take solace, Huckabee said, that “evil personified lost, and God won.”
According to Lane, the purpose of the trip is “to encourage these leaders to achieve extraordinary feats.” He has even named the trip, “The Journey: A Spiritual Awakening.”
Lane has called for a grassroots movement of 1,000 pastors to run for political office in the upcoming 2016 elections. And he says that “this would revolutionize the political process and dramatically change the political climate in America.”
Huckabee is sounding a similar refrain. Speaking within the shadow of the ruins of the Birkenau gas chamber, Huckabee said that being a tourist and visiting here is not enough…
“It’s not enough, unless it does something to the way we live the rest of our lives. This is not a time to say ‘I’ve been to Auschwitz’… Because when the day comes, when we are called upon to put at risk our lives, our families, our fortunes, we have to decide if we will march like lemmings to our death, or take whatever steps necessary to stop the kind of tyranny that results, ultimately, in what we’ve been able to see firsthand today.”
And the war against evil continues.
Your eyes on the Hill,