Russell and Duenes

They Had Less Than 48 Hours To Live!

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No man can contend with one who is stronger than he. Ecc. 6:10

William Manchester, in his seminal work on Winston Churchill (The Last Lion – Alone: 1932 – 1940), writes, “At 11:13 P.M., May 8th, 1940, when the [British] House of Commons adjourned, thousands of Dutch, Belgians, and Luxembourgers had less than forty-eight hours to live, though they were unaware of it; in those days civilized nations mobilized, exchanged hostile notes, and then formally declared war. Nevertheless, guards on the borders of each of these small countries were puzzled and troubled by the total silence on the German side of their frontiers. Hitler had signed nonaggression pacts with each and repeatedly and solemnly reaffirmed them, vowing that not a single hobnailed Wehrmacht boot would ever touch their soil. They had taken little comfort from that; he had told too many grosse Lugen; his credibility had vanished and been replaced by fear. The Third Reich, possessing the most powerful military juggernaut Europe had ever known, was recognized as a terrorist nation, the very essence of Schrecklichkeit, the stuff of nightmares” (662-3).

And just how powerful was this “military juggernaut?”

Manchester tells us: “On Germany’s side of the Rhine, the Fuhrer had assembled 136 divisions and their reserves – two million men, including a contingent wearing uniforms of the Netherlands army and fluent in the Dutch language. The Low Countries would be overwhelmed by vast surging waves of infantry and armor ‘unprecedented for size, concentration, mobility,” [William L.] Shirer wrote, which ‘stretched in three columns back for a hundred miles beyond the Rhine” (672). I tried to fathom this today. Three columns of soldiers, along with tanks, artillery and air force, stretching back from the Bay Area some twenty miles past Sacramento to the east. It beggars the imagination. It is a horror to contemplate. Such wicked force moving against such weakness.

Of course, Churchill, for almost a decade, did everything in his power to warn against Nazi aggression, that it might be checked in its infancy. To no avail. Manchester concludes, “In those shabby years His Majesty’s Governments believed that there were some things the country ought not to know, and that their policy of duplicity – which at times amounted to conspiracy – would be vindicated in the end” (688). One weeps for the gut-wrenching and incalculable loss of human life that resulted. When once the Germans were so powerful, how could all the people to the west of them contend with them? As the Preacher also tells us, it was all so terrifyingly predictable: “Whatever exists has already been named, and what man is has been known.”

So Hitler and the Nazi’s killed their millions. But what of us? What of our millions? What of our over 35 million American children legally killed since 1973, before they ever saw the light of day? How can they “contend with one who is stronger than they?” What does wisdom tell us? “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this,’ does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?” (Prov.24:11-12)



Written by Michael Duenes

September 23, 2010 at 9:36 pm

Posted in Duenes, History, Theology

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