By Tandy McConnell

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Nothing will happen to you. I'll guarantee that. " He said that so confidently that I could do nothing but sit down. The young man who stood a short distance away smiled again. His smile said: All right. Don't be afraid, it won't be ail that bad. But we deceived ourselves, ail of us; we Jews and those sympathetic Berliners in the underground that morning, it was going to be very bad for many millions of my co-religionists in Europe, and for millions of Germans, too. The great massacre was just beginning.

The Nazis drew from 18 H I S T O R Y IN D I S P U T E , V O L U M E 11: THE H O L O C A U S T this deep well of hatred to fuel their policies of genocide, but the "Final Solution to the Jewish Question" did not target Judaism as a religion but the Jews as a race. Conversion to Christianity, which provided medieval Jews an out from the ghetto and rescue from the pogroms, was meaningless as far as the Holocaust was concerned. This theologically based legacy of contempt began within the earliest centuries of Christianity and can be found in some of the most influential theologians of the Church.

Jews, however, believing in the ideals ofBildung (education) and culture, thought of themselves as "Germans" after having become entrenched in German education, history, culture, and ideals throughout the prior centuries. Whereas Nazis defined nationality by blood, Jews defined nationality by a common education in the classics and history. Bildung, Jews believed, provided a common ground on which both ethnic Germans and German Jews could meet. " Furthermore, they believed that after having made so many contributions to German culture during the Weimar Republic (1919-1933) that they would be fully accepted and welcomed as part of the German nation.

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