chapter  9
If God was silent, absent, dead, or nonexistent, what about philosophy and theology? Some aftereffects and aftershocks of the Holocaust
ByJohn K. Roth
Pages 13

Religion was not a sufficient condition for the Holocaust, but it was a necessary one. What happened at Auschwitz is inconceivable without beliefs about God first held by Jews and then by Christians. Holocaust and genocide scholars have explored the similarities and differences between the Holocaust and other genocides. Although the field of comparative genocide does not often make the point, one aspect of the Holocaust that is qualitatively different from all other programs of extermination and mass destruction in the modern period can be stated as follows: No example of mass murder other than the Holocaust has raised so directly or so insistently the question of whether it was an expression of Heilsgeschichte, that is, God’s providential involvement in history. More than any other disaster in modern times, the Holocaust resonates and collides with the religio-mythic traditions of biblical religion, the dominant religious tradition of western civilization.