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Christian attitudes to the Holocaust

20 February 2008


From Mr Christopher Haffner
Sir, — The Revd Dr Nicholas Cranfield’s review of the exhibition of photographs of the Altneuschul of Prague (Arts, 8 February) tries to be too theological for its own good.

While his appreciation of the history of the building and the quality of the exhibition does come through, it is buried in a questioning of the growing realisation that the world has something to answer for in the Holocaust. Twice he questions the appropriateness of photographs of a synagogue in a Cambridge church.

Jesus worshipped in the synagogues of his day. We who hold Jesus important would do well to consider whether he would have been happier worshipping in the Altneuschul than in our average Christian church.

We need not question whether a synagogue would allow photographs of the Ka’ba or a mosque the hanging of photographs of a synagogue in order to establish what Christians should do. We are not in a tit-for-tat situation. After two thousand years of persecution of those who belong to the same race as Jesus, culminating in the Holocaust, we can only show love and respect for them in their faithfulness to their God and ours.

This exhibition, which to my regret I was unaware of until I read the review, can only be a small part of our duty to be “first reconciled to brother or sister” (Matthew 6.24).
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