Marcel Jacques Dubois, "Christian Reflection on the Holocaust," SIDIC 7:2 (1974) 4-15

Abstract by Jerry Darring


Jews see the Holocaust as a unique event because "the technical process of destruction used by Hitler, its systematic organization, its propaganda, the absolute character of the 'final solution' make the Holocaust radically different from all other similar historical events: cold logic at the service of hatred, the genius of order at the service of annihilation" (6). The Holocaust is also "a unique event in the very destiny of Israel because it stands out as a tragedy unexampled in the whole of her history" and "because of its background which is still more decisively unique: the election of Israel" (5).

The Jews are remembering the Holocaust because remembrance is part of their religious tradition. Some Jews have lost their faith in God because of the Holocaust, but many others have been strengthened in their faith. "The victory of the Jewish people over the Holocaust is finally accomplished by fidelity to its vocation: the sanctification of the Name" (12).

The Christian finds an answer in the Corss: "The transcendent intelligibility of the Holocaust can be granted only by light from above, and for us Christians that light passes through the mystery of Golgotha," for "if the mystery of the Cross means for our faith that by his death the Lord has vanquished all death, there is no human suffering, no presence of death that is not at this very moment part of the metamorphosis of Transfiguration" (13). Isaiah provides a Jewish foundation for this understanding in the figure of the Suffering Servant: "What the Christian can truly say is that to the eye of faith Jesus fulfils Israel in her destiny of Seffering Servant and that Israel, in her experience of solitude and anguish, announces and represents even without knowing it the mystery of the Passion and of the Cross" (15).