This first day of September marks the 81st anniversary of the beginning of World War II, with Germany’s invasion of Poland, one week after the signing of the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact between Germany and Russia (which Hitler would later violate, one of the many factors leading to the collapse of the Nazi Third Reich). Our Lady predicted the unimaginable horrors of that war, back in 1917, when she told the young visionaries that there would a worse war to come if men did not repent – and we all know how that went.
By one of those not-unconnected coincidences of history, Hitler also chose this day to begin the official euthanasia program of his regime – Aktion T-4, named after the address, Tiergartenstraße, where the headquarters were set up in 1940 – putting to death in surreptitious ways the ‘defectives’ in hospitals and sanitariums across Germany. We know not how many were actually killed – the official number of 70,273 likely being a gross underestimate, and their death certificates were often outright lies, and patients were being euthanized for years before the decree, in secret. This euthanasia program soon developed into the ‘final solution’, to murder Jews and all the other ‘undesirables’ – from Catholics to gypsies and anyone else who resisted, or who was just not expedient to the bizarre and evil ideology of the Nazi regime.
We should ponder this, as euthanasia, now legalized, but practised for years ‘in secret’, picks up steam, and what began as quasi-voluntary, now slips gradually into the not-quite voluntary. For what begins as an (apparent) right, soon becomes and (apparent) duty, both for the physician, and the patient.
Already, in Canada, in 2019, there were 5,631 people killed by physicians, up from 2,613 the year before – and, again, those are only the official numbers. How many of those were fully ‘voluntary’ – not that that exculpates those involved? Might a different kind of ‘Dachau’ soon be upon us, with the neo-barbarians, to paraphrase Chesterton, wearing dress shoes and labcoats, instead of jackboots and Hugo Boss-designed leather Nazi costumes?
One of the most energetic and brutal officers in charge of the mass murder of millions – without whom it may well have collapsed – was ironically called Christian Wirth. It is always surprising what one great sinner, or one great saint, can do. Yet, Wirth, with his lies and his whip in hand driving Jews and others into the gas chambers, could not do what he did without the assistance of untold numbers of others, less zealous than he, perhaps, for evil.
Are we exculpated? Morgentaler was responsible for the murder of untold thousands of unborn children, yet we have bestowed on him Canada’s highest honour – and the mob, so I just read, has toppled the statue of our first Prime Minister, beheading him for good measure. And the police stand idly by. We will have more to say on this, but for now, the words of Yeats are a propos:
We need a Bishop von Galen, the Lion of Munster, a Maximilan Kolbe, and all the other hidden prophets, to rail against this evil – along, of course, with abortion and all the other deviancies devouring our nation and children – before it be too late, and others look back on our age, like we now do with Nazi Germany, and ask, quite literally, ‘what the hell happened?’.
As Paul Suski alludes in his article, even in ‘hell’, we can find a few saints, who can turn even the inferno into heaven – or at least lead a few or more than a few by the grace of God, out of the abyss towards which we are slipping.