Medical Tuesday Blog
A Review of Books and Film
When History is obtained from film, this creates a new obligation in truth from the entertainment industry as noted by Peggy Noonan in her column this week. This has essentially been true in the biographical book industry. We have just completed Eric Metaxas large volume on Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy. We’ve all heard about the evil of Hitler, the Fuhrer, that we learned from the history books. It was never as personalized as Eric Metaxas did in this volume. Being so close to the Fuhrer and his threats made it seem so immediately threatening. The theological discussions that Bonhoeffer had with his fellow Lutheran Clergy were very erudite in their treatment of the Mosaic Code: Would it be a sin to kill Hitler? He decides that Hitler was so evil, it would be acceptable to God to murder him. Bonhoeffer then became part of the resistance carefully treading the thin line between the church and the State. He even met with the Fuhrer as the resistance was planting bombs to kill Hitler. After several fail attempts, he was close to the Fuhrer when one exploded just a few feet from Hitler. Hitler then got up to show he was not killed as others in the auditorium were. Hitler then went on a crusade to kill all member that he thought may be allied with the resistance. Not only were the suspects shot, their wives, children and relatives were also killed.
Bonhoeffer was jailed but no charges were filed. He never was able to get the gestapo to lay out the charges. Bonhoeffer continued his work as a prison chaplain as he was taken from one prison to another and finally was given a trial with no defense or witnesses and sentenced to death by hanging. This took place the next morning. When the guard came to his cell to get him, they found him on his knees in prayer. They did not interrupt him and allowed him to complete his prayer. He then got up and walked with the guards to the death chambers without any resistance from him. Just before the gallows, he knelt and gave one final prayer, got up and walked into the chamber with the noose waiting to be put around his neck and the hanging proceeded quietly to the amazement of all the guards who had admired him as the prison chaplain. The Allies arrived two weeks later and freed those imprisoned. Another theological discussion is now heard in our seminaries: Why did God allow such a learned theologian die two weeks before Germany was set free?
Eric Metaxas interweaves significant brutal Nazi practices. Once, they obtain cooperation from the medical establishment to do studies on the prisoners, the cruelty worsen. How much cold can the human body endure before it dies? With unlimited “volunteers” which could not resist, they laid them on the ground and pump increasingly cold and icy water over them until they had reached the LD50—the lethal dose when half had died. They scientifically recorded the body temperatures when the lethal dose was reached. Then they shot all the survivors.
The debates Churchill had with the Pacifist in the War Room has been a recurring theme. Those that wanted to negotiate a peace with Hitler, Churchill replied, “How can you negotiate when your head is in the Tiger’s mouth.” He saw the same evil that was progressively ensnaring the world we would then live in which Bonhoeffer witnessed from the inside. It is very difficult to imagine what living in such a godless society would be like.
The other tragedy this lights up is when physicians become part of the inhumanity of man to man. We see this in Syria. We’ve seen this in the Muslim world. Will we see this in the United States where for centuries we could count on physicians to be loyal Americans upholding our constitution and the dignity of life? Now we see agnostics in our midst and are afraid to vent our feelings because they are no longer politically correct.
One of the flyers associated with the promotion was that Donald Trump may become our Churchill! He doesn’t have the speech skills. But he seems to be butting against appeasement and progressives who really should be called Regressives.
It’s not unlike the Regressives against President Reagan? When the Kremlin under Mikhail Gorbachev declassified documents from the 1940s, there was a letter from Ed Kennedy to Nikita Khrushchev asking for advice on what to do with our Wild and unpredictable President?
It would seem that none of the allegations against President Trump could “trump” what Ed Kennedy did!
But it is the same party that is, in each case, trying to destroy a president who is returning us to our constitutional government.
May they never succeed in their efforts to destroy our unique form of government.
Hat’s off to Hillsdale in their efforts to educate the current generation in the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, in which our public educational system has so miserably failed us.
This review is found at A Review of Books and Film .
The Book Review Section Is an Insider’s View of What Doctors are Reading about.