Jerry noticed that Johnny looked deeply concerned as he walked into the living room of the spacious house and flopped down onto the soft brown leather couch.
“Dad, we need to talk. I’m ashamed to say that I once got a girl pregnant, and she wanted to have an abortion. When I think back to my attitude, I objected, but she went ahead with it, and to be honest I felt relieved. Raising a child was a problem I didn’t want, and that was a quick fix. I’ve asked a few friends about the abortion issue and almost everyone tells me that life begins when the baby’s born, or at best around six months. But no one is sure. It’s really starting to bother me. What do you think?”
Jerry thought for a moment, picked up his coffee, took a quick sip and said,
“To address that, I’ve got a question for you. You studied Hitler in school. Tell me, why do you think he hated the Jews?”
Johnny looked up slightly and deep in thought, he said,
“If I remember rightly, it was because he had his paintings rejected by a mainly Jewish panel at an art school in Vienna.”
“Yes, that‘s one thought. A couple of others are that he may have been bitter because a Jewish prostitute gave him a sexually transmitted disease, or he was jealous because some of the Jews were able to make money while Germany was economically depressed. But think about it for a moment. Perhaps a man could become angry for any of those reasons and take his anger out on some Jewish person by murdering him. Maybe that would give him a sense of satisfaction. Or it could still make sense if he took a gun and murdered a family of six Jews, or a handful of Jewish coworkers. But to kill 600 would be crazy, or 6,000 would be insanely out of proportion. Adolf Hitler killed six million Jews! So as far as I’m concerned, there has to be something more behind this…and I believe there is.
“Back on April 26th, 1938, all Jews (except for the very poor) were forced by law to disclose their wealth. I didn’t know this until I asked questions after I was at a church service around that time. I do remember thinking that it seemed very strange that the Nazis burst into a home I was in and knew exactly who they were looking for. I didn’t know it then, but the disclosure law said that if Jews refused to reveal their wealth in detail, their property could be confiscated and they could get up to ten years hard labor in prison . No doubt there was compliance from millions of Jews across Germany. But here’s the stinger. They didn’t know it, but when they obediently filled out those disclosure forms, they were signing their own death warrant and that of their families.
“I have had nightmares about this. I see myself back there in Germany living with a Jewish family, watching them fill out the forms. I watch as the father looks over his insurance policies, writes out how much he has in the bank and where the bank is located. I see him giving the bank account numbers and personal details. I watch the mother describe in detail and list what jewelry she owns, what it’s worth, the value of their paintings and other valuables they have in the home. In my dream, I stand up and cry out “No! No! Don’t do this! You are signing your own death warrants. They are going to arrest and kill you. All of you, including your precious children!” I wake up dripping with sweat.