Amon Goeth was a concentration camp kommendant in Poland during WWII. He was the man portrayed in Schindler’s List by actor Ralph Fiennes. Perhaps the most disturbing part of a disturbing movie for me, was when he ordered a guard to shoot a Jewish woman in the head. The scene of her death is haunting.
I found on Amazon Prime a documentary about the man entitled “Inheritance”. The story is about his daughter (Monika) and one of the Jewish girls he kept in his house for his own pleasure.
Monika was raised by her mother to believe her father was killed in the war as a soldier. She finds out this isn’t true. As she learns the truth she learns about this Jewish girl who lived with her parents. She arranges to make contact with her and they meet at the exact site of the camp. The house portrayed in the movie is still there and open to simply walk in. As the two women walked into the house the older woman began to cry as the pain and memories came flooding back. She even went to the balcony where Goeth would shoot people before breakfast. The woman who lived with Goeth made a striking statement where she indicated she didn’t want to face this, but felt like she had to.
I watched this because this is part of history I am most interested in. But also, because there are spiritual overtones to the entire story. Not one mention of God was made throughout the entire documentary. But I felt like I was looking at the book of Esther. Not one mention of God in the entire story, but you can see his hand all over the story. At one point Monika was asking how her father could have become like he was. “What horrible thing happened to him as a boy to have caused him to be like this. They showed a picture of him in 1912 as a young toddler in school looking like any other boy his age anywhere else in the world, carefree and innocent.
I locked in on the thought of how he developed like he did. Then it struck me that at a young age sitting next to each other, the Pope and Attila the Hun would look the same. It is in growing up, without the presence of the Holy Spirit, sin is free to roam and the human spirit in all of it’s ugliness will blossom into unspeakable horror. The Nazi’s and the Japanese in WWII are just some examples, but there are many others. No group of people are exempt from this type of wickedness. The Bible speaks of the human heart clearly when it says it is wicked! Jeremiah 17:9 (ESV) The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?
As I have been working through my own heart, I find I am just as capable as any Nazi, Dahmer or Bundy out there of committing unspeakable evil. Thus I find myself not only capable but willing to do heretofore unimaginable evil and wickedness. Thus i find myself capable of sleeping with a woman not my wife.
What did I learn from this story? I learned that there is nothing I can do to correct a wicked heart. I can not say about anyone something along the lines of “Well at least I didn’t do _____!” That statement compares you with someone else and says “I am better than _____ because I don’t do ______.” To make that type of statement leads you to believe you have something inherently better than the other person because you at least didn’t kill someone, or rape someone, or rob a bank or molest a child.
Psalms 53:2-3 (NLT) God looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if there is even one with real understanding, one who seeks for God. But no, all have turned away from God; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not even one!