On hearing that these Frenchmen sympathized with the Germans, Jerry decided that he would soon leave France and go to Britain. Some days later, someone gave him some of Lilian's belongings. Among them was the Bible that his father read from as he prayed that Britain and France would deliver him and his family from the Nazis. He muttered,
"Some help that was!" then threw it to the floor and spat out,
"There is no God!"
That conclusion seemed to justify his anger. The very thought of a Divine Being made him bitter. He had seen "God with us" engraved on the belt buckles of the Nazi soldiers. Even the demented Fuhrer believed in God. A year earlier, he came across portions of Hitler's "Mein Kampf." When the First World War began and lifted Hitler from obscurity, it was recorded in his book how the war elated him by saying,
"I fell on my knees and thanked Heaven from an overflowing heart."
Jerry's newfound atheism gave him some sort of solace and explanation for the sufferings he saw around him. If there was an omnipotent God, how could He sit idly by and watch his sister and Jean suffer? How could a "God of love" let his father, Monique and her family, the Italian priests, and women and children be so brutally murdered? And of all things, how could He do nothing while the Nazis were slaughtering millions of Jews, His "chosen people"? Talk of horrifying things had trickled back from the camps. He kept hearing more of rumors of innocent children being used by "doctors" as guinea pigs in testing lethal germs, amputations and toxins. These came with so much more detail; he couldn’t help but believe them. Polish and Soviet officials estimated that 1.5 million people were put to death at the Maidanek Concentration Camp. The victims were Jews and Christians--men, women and children from every nation in Europe. The camp was in an area covering 670 acres and was surrounded by an electric barbed fence. Outside the fence there were 14 machinegun turrets. Prisoners were processed very efficiently. They were first herded into the bathhouses and stripped. Then their clothes were sent to Germany to supplement the German wardrobe. They were then moved into another room that was sealed except for holes placed high in the roof.
From the holes, canisters of a toxic gas were dropped below. The warm showers the people took opened their pores, permitting the gas to take effect more quickly. Prison guards watched through glass panes in the ceiling to make sure everyone was dead.
Bodies were then removed and taken to the furnace, where teeth and gold fillings were knocked out and sold later. Bodies were burned in 10‑12 minutes, meaning that when the crematoriums were efficiently used, 1900 bodies could be burned a day. The ashes were then sold to German farmers as fertilizer.
No . . . there was no God.
To be continued.