A Photographic Illustration of God’s Wrath: Images from the Holocaust

My study of the bible has recently brought me to the book of Ezekiel. Ezekiel was a fearless man who recounted his visions from God to the people of his day. Many of these prophecies were a foretelling of the near future death and destruction of his own people, the Israelites. Unfortunately, these prophecies were ignored by the Israelites and therefore, many perished before his eyes in the most gruesome of ways.

This will be a visual post to illustrate God’s wrath — images to accompany a handful of the verses from Ezekiel’s prophecies. The reign of King Nebuchadnezzar, whose conquests and slaughter of the Israelites were prophesied by Ezekiel, must have been just as cruel and monstrous as that of Hitler. The photographs that we have today, taken of events that occurred only 70 years ago, surely provide us with as accurate an illustration of what the Israelites endured around 600 B.C. as possible.

By no means am I claiming that the Holocaust was caused by God’s wrath. Nonetheless, God did permit this tribulation for reasons unknown. In the images we find brutality, savageness and merciless torment. Do not ignore the anger of your Lord; he is loving and kind, but He is also vengeful, and can be provoked to absolute and discriminate anger, just as you find in these photographs. What’s more – and as hard as it is for me to imagine – it is written that the Final Tribulation will be much worse. The Holocaust ought to be a warning to the people of God. Not even His own chosen people, the Jews, were kept safe from harm. In fact, as we all know, it was the Jewish race that was specifically singled out during this horrific time of genocide.

I’ll remind you that the photos of the people, locations and events you will see here are not to be taken lightly. The atrocities of the Holocaust are very personal and real, and will never be forgotten. In the words of Primo Levi, Holocaust survivor:

My number is 174517; we have been baptized, we will carry the tattoo on our left arm until we die.

Polish-born Holocaust survivor Meyer Hack shows his prisoner number tattooed on his arm.

Polish-born Holocaust survivor Meyer Hack shows his prisoner number tattooed on his arm. – History.com

The Lord said, “In this way the people of Israel will eat defiled food among the nations where I will drive them.” Ezekiel 4:13

Soon after liberation, camp survivors eat near scattered corpses. Bergen-Belsen, Germany, after April 15, 1945. - US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Soon after liberation, camp survivors eat near scattered corpses. Bergen-Belsen, Germany, after April 15, 1945. – US Holocaust Memorial Museum

…The people will eat rationed food in anxiety and drink rationed water in despair,  for food and water will be scarce. They will be appalled at the sight of each other and will waste away…. Ezekiel 4:16-17

Victims of Dr. Josef Mengele's medical experiments at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Poland, 1944. - National Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau

Victims of Dr. Josef Mengele’s medical experiments at Auschwitz-Birkenau. Poland, 1944. – National Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau

Therefore in your midst parents will eat their children, and children will eat their parents. Ezekiel 5:10

I cannot find an image for something so completely horrific, and even if I did, I couldn’t bear to post it.

…I will inflict punishment on you and will scatter all your survivors to the winds. Ezekiel 5:10

Jewish orphans fleeing Europe are fitted with shoes from the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), en route to Allied occupation zones in Germany and Austria. Prague, Czechoslovakia, August 25, 1946. - United Nations Archives and Records

Jewish orphans fleeing Europe are fitted with shoes from the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), en route to Allied occupation zones in Germany and Austria. Prague, Czechoslovakia, August 25, 1946. – United Nations Archives and Records

Jewish children say goodbye to parents through the fence of the Central Prison, the assembly point for deportations. Lodz ghetto, Poland, between 1942 and 1943. - Beit Lohamei Haghettaot

Jewish children say goodbye to parents through the fence of the Central Prison, the assembly point for deportations. Lodz ghetto, Poland, between 1942 and 1943. – Beit Lohamei Haghettaot

…I will not look on you with pity or spare you. Ezekiel 5:11

An emaciated woman sells the compulsory Star of David armbands for Jews. In the background are concert posters; almost all are destroyed. Warsaw ghetto, Poland, September 19, 1941. - Guenther Schwarberg; US Holocaust Memorial Museum

An emaciated woman sells the compulsory Star of David armbands for Jews. In the background are concert posters; almost all are destroyed. Warsaw ghetto, Poland, September 19, 1941. – Guenther Schwarberg; US Holocaust Memorial Museum

“I will make you a ruin and a reproach among the nations around you, in the sight of all who pass by. You will be a reproach and a taunt, a warning and an object of horror to the nations around you when I inflict punishment on you in anger and in wrath and with stinging rebuke. Ezekiel 5:14-15

A Jewish woman during a deportation from the Warsaw ghetto. Warsaw, Poland, date uncertain. - Leopold Page Photographic Collection; US Holocaust Memorial Museum

A Jewish woman during a deportation from the Warsaw ghetto. Warsaw, Poland, date uncertain. – Leopold Page Photographic Collection; US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Jews from the Lodz ghetto are forced to transfer to a narrow-gauge railroad at Kolo during deportation to the Chelmno extermination camp. Kolo, Poland, probably 1942. - US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Jews from the Lodz ghetto are forced to transfer to a narrow-gauge railroad at Kolo during deportation to the Chelmno extermination camp. Kolo, Poland, probably 1942. – US Holocaust Memorial Museum

In November 1940, the British authorities sent 5,000 illegal Jewish immigrants to Mauritius on the ship Patria. After a bomb – aimed at stopping the deportation – exploded on the ship, the Patria sank. Of the 1,800 refugees on board, 216 drowned. The survivors of the Patria disaster were detained in Atlit. (www.ushmm.org)

Aliyah Bet ("illegal" immigration) ship "Parita," carrying 850 Jewish refugees, lands on a sandbank off the Tel Aviv coast. The British arrested the passengers and interned them at Atlit detention camp. Palestine, August 21, 1939. - Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz

Aliyah Bet (“illegal” immigration) ship “Parita,” carrying 850 Jewish refugees, lands on a sandbank off the Tel Aviv coast. The British arrested the passengers and interned them at Atlit detention camp. Palestine, August 21, 1939. – Bildarchiv Preussischer Kulturbesitz

One of the tent camps used to detain Jewish displaced persons denied entry into Palestine by the British. Cyprus, August 1946-February 1949. - American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

One of the tent camps used to detain Jewish displaced persons denied entry into Palestine by the British. Cyprus, August 1946-February 1949. – American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

…I will scatter your bones…. Wherever you live, the towns will be laid waste and the high places demolished…what you have made wiped out. Your people will fall slain among you…. Ezekiel 6:5-7

One of many piles of ashes and bones found by US soldiers at the Buchenwald concentration camp. Germany, April 14, 1945. - National Archives and Records

One of many piles of ashes and bones found by US soldiers at the Buchenwald concentration camp. Germany, April 14, 1945. – National Archives and Records

…I will not look on you with pity; I will not spare you… Ezekiel 7:4

Children eating in the ghetto streets. Warsaw, Poland, between 1940 and 1943. - US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Children eating in the ghetto streets. Warsaw, Poland, between 1940 and 1943. – US Holocaust Memorial Museum

After liberation of the Auschwitz camp: a warehouse of clothes that belonged to women who were murdered. Auschwitz, Poland, after January 1945. - National Archives and Records

After liberation of the Auschwitz camp: a warehouse of clothes that belonged to women who were murdered. Auschwitz, Poland, after January 1945. – National Archives and Records

…Disaster! Unheard-of disaster? See, it comes! Ezekiel 7:5

A mass grave soon after camp liberation. Bergen-Belsen, Germany, May 1945. - US Holocaust Memorial Museum

A mass grave soon after camp liberation. Bergen-Belsen, Germany, May 1945. – US Holocaust Memorial Museum

None of the people will be left, none of that crowd—none of their wealth, nothing of value…. Ezekiel 7:11

Battered suitcases sit in a pile in a room at Auschwitz. The cases, most inscribed with each owner's name, were taken from prisoners upon their arrival at the camps. - History.com

Battered suitcases sit in a pile in a room at Auschwitz. The cases, most inscribed with each owner’s name, were taken from prisoners upon their arrival at the camps. – History.com

Every hand will go limp; every leg will be wet with urine. They will put on sackcloth and be clothed with terror. Every face will be covered with shame, and every head will be shaved. Ezekiel 7:17-18

Shaving an inmate at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Germany, 1942. - US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Shaving an inmate at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. Germany, 1942. – US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Hair of women prisoners, prepared for shipment to Germany, found at the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp. Poland, 1945. - US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Hair of women prisoners, prepared for shipment to Germany, found at the liberation of the Auschwitz extermination camp. Poland, 1945. – US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Their silver and gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord’s wrath. It will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs…I will give their wealth as plunder to foreigners and as loot to the wicked of the earth, who will defile it. Ezekiel 7:19-21

A few of the thousands of wedding rings the Nazis removed from their victims to salvage the gold. U.S. troops found rings, watches, precious stones, eyeglasses, and gold fillings, near the Buchenwald concentration camp. Germany, May 5, 1945. - History.com

A few of the thousands of wedding rings the Nazis removed from their victims to salvage the gold. U.S. troops found rings, watches, precious stones, eyeglasses, and gold fillings, near the Buchenwald concentration camp. Germany, May 5, 1945. – History.com

I will turn my face away from the people, and robbers will desecrate the place I treasure.
They will enter it and will defile it…I will bring the most wicked of nations to take possession of their houses. Ezekiel 7:22-24

Deportation of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto during the ghetto uprising. Warsaw, Poland, May 1943. - National Archives and Records Administration

Deportation of Jews from the Warsaw ghetto during the ghetto uprising. Warsaw, Poland, May 1943. – National Archives and Records Administration

Roll call for newly arrived prisoners, mostly Jews arrested during Kristallnacht (the "Night of Broken Glass"), at the Buchenwald concentration camp. Buchenwald, Germany, 1938. - US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Roll call for newly arrived prisoners, mostly Jews arrested during Kristallnacht (the “Night of Broken Glass”), at the Buchenwald concentration camp. Buchenwald, Germany, 1938. – US Holocaust Memorial Museum

When terror comes, they will seek peace in vain. Calamity upon calamity will come…. Ezekiel 7:25-26

Dr. Fritz Klein, a former camp doctor who conducted medical experiments on prisoners, stands among corpses in a mass grave. Bergen-Belsen, Germany, after April 15, 1945. - US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Dr. Fritz Klein, a former camp doctor who conducted medical experiments on prisoners, stands among corpses in a mass grave. Bergen-Belsen, Germany, after April 15, 1945. – US Holocaust Memorial Museum

As I listened, he said to (those who are appointed to execute judgment), “Follow him through the city and kill, without showing pity or compassion. Slaughter the old men, the young men and women, the mothers and children…. Ezekiel 9:5-6

A view of barbed wire fences, buildings and chimneys at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp and extermination camp in operation during World War II. - History.com

A view of barbed wire fences, buildings and chimneys at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp and extermination camp in operation during World War II. – History.com

They will go into exile as captives. Ezekiel 12:10

Column of Soviet prisoners of war from the Ukrainian front. Kharkov, Soviet Union, June 18, 1942. - La Documentation Francaise

Column of Soviet prisoners of war from the Ukrainian front. Kharkov, Soviet Union, June 18, 1942. – La Documentation Francaise

Although they have come out of the fire, the fire will yet consume them. Ezekiel 15:7

This gas chamber was the largest room in Crematorium I at Auschwitz. The room was originally used as a mortuary but was converted in 1941 into a gas chamber where Soviet POWs and Jews were killed. - History.com

This gas chamber was the largest room in Crematorium I at Auschwitz. The room was originally used as a mortuary but was converted in 1941 into a gas chamber where Soviet POWs and Jews were killed. – History.com

It is a sword for slaughter—a sword for great slaughter, closing in on them from every side. So that hearts may melt with fear and the fallen be many… Ezekiel 21:14-15

Corpses stacked behind the crematorium in Buchenwald. Germany, May 1945. - US Holocaust Memorial Museum

Corpses stacked behind the crematorium in Buchenwald. Germany, May 1945. – US Holocaust Memorial Museum

I will pour out my wrath on you and breathe out my fiery anger against you; I will deliver you into the hands of brutal men, men skilled in destruction. You will be fuel for the fire, your blood will be shed in your land, you will be remembered no more…. Ezekiel 21:31-32

Entrance to the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp which operated 4 gas chambers where 6,000 people were put to death each day by the Nazi regime. - History.com

Entrance to the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp which operated 4 gas chambers where 6,000 people were put to death each day by the Nazi regime. – History.com

There are people today who deny the Holocaust ever happened.

A view of barbed wire fences, buildings and chimneys at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp and extermination camp in operation during World War II. - History.com

A view of barbed wire fences, buildings and chimneys at Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi concentration camp and extermination camp in operation during World War II. – History.com

Fences surround the concentration camp at Auschwitz. An estimated 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 people were exterminated at the camp. A row of chimneys tops the crematorium, were bodies were burned. - History.com

Fences surround the concentration camp at Auschwitz. An estimated 1,000,000 to 2,500,000 people were exterminated at the camp. A row of chimneys tops the crematorium, were bodies were burned. – History.com

…all of them are the copper, tin, iron and lead left inside a furnace. They are but the dross of silver. Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because you have all become dross, I will gather you into Jerusalem. As silver, copper, iron, lead and tin are gathered into a furnace to be melted with a fiery blast, so will I gather you in my anger and my wrath and put you inside the city and melt you. I will gather you and I will blow on you with my fiery wrath, and you will be melted inside her. As silver is melted in a furnace, so you will be melted inside her, and you will know that I the Lord have poured out my wrath on you.’” Ezekiel 22:18-22

The gas chamber at Majdanek, a Nazi concentration camp in Poland, the walls were stained blue by Zyklon B. - History.com

The gas chamber at Majdanek, a Nazi concentration camp in Poland, the walls were stained blue by Zyklon B. – History.com

…Bring a mob against them and give them over to terror and plunder. The mob will stone them and cut them down with their swords; they will kill their sons and daughters and burn down their houses. Ezekiel 23:46-47

A group of children just before they were executed. - Jewish Virtual Library

A group of children just before they were executed. – Jewish Virtual Library

Not even halfway through the book of Ezekiel I am ready to stop drawing out quotes for this post. The wrath of God is too immense for me and I am overwhelmed.

Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor, wrote:

“It all happened so fast. The ghetto. The deportation. The sealed cattle car. The fiery altar upon which the history of our people and the future of mankind were meant to be sacrificed.”

“Sometimes I am asked if I know ‘the response to Auschwitz’; I answer that not only do I not know it, but that I don’t even know if a tragedy of this magnitude has a response.”

God’s anger is not limited by time or eras, and it can and will be unleashed upon even His own chosen people; the Israelites’ sin lead to their destruction during Ezekiel’s day.

“(Ezekiel), I am sending you to the Israelites, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have been in revolt against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and stubborn. Ezekiel 2:3-4

God’s burning fury as a result of our sin can only be quenched through His son, Jesus Christ. Jesus bore our sins at his death. All we have to do is accept that fact. Avoid God’s vengeance; hell is eternal.

I cannot claim the honor of being one of God’s chosen people. I do however, consider myself one of God’s children, born again in a new spirit. Thank goodness He gives us all that opportunity!

Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, people of Israel? For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live! Ezekiel 18:31-32

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6 Responses to A Photographic Illustration of God’s Wrath: Images from the Holocaust

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