Where was God in Auschwitz?
Never should I forget that nocturnal silence
which deprived me, for all eternity, of the desire to live. Never shall
I forget those moments which murdered my God and my soul and
turned my dreams to dust.
The horror of Auschwitz is a stark challenge to many of the more conventional
ideas of God. The remote God of the philosophers....becomes intolerable. Many Jews
can no longer subscribe to the biblical idea of God who manifests himself in
history, who, they say with Wiesel, died in Auschwitz. The idea of a personal God,
like one of us writ large, is fraught with difficulty. If this God is omnipotent,
he could have prevented the Holocaust. If he was unable to stop it,
he is impotent and useless; if he could have stopped it and chose not to,
he is a monster. Jews are not the only people who believe that
the Holocaust put an end to conventional theology.
Karen Armstrong, A History of God, (Ballantine Books, 1993)