Who has the right to dance at Auschwitz?

That’s the eye-catching title of an AP article about a home video that has gone viral on the internet in which a small group of people are seen dancing to the disco tune “I Will Survive” at the gate of Auschwitz and other sites of the Holocaust. The key to understanding the video is that it was arranged by Adolek Kohn, himself a Holocaust surviver. So Adolek, his daughter, and his grandchildren have made a statement that, in his mind, is an act of defiance, resilience, and conquest. Not surprisingly, some are deeply offended, considering the exercise an intemperate expression in the light of the horrors of what happened at such places.

I visited Auschwitz a few years ago. The feeling of being in the damp and dark gas chamber, the crematorium, the processing rooms, the firing squad wall, is something I will never shake off.
But this does raise an interesting question. If we believe that in the spiritual realms Christ really did defeat the power of Satan, that the Evil One is now like a rabid dog on the loose but not with unlimited power, that we are called to believe that the outcome of the war against evil has been determined–then is that not a truth to be celebrated, heralded, and explained? I know I have seen many believers go through unbelievably difficult and oppressive life circumstances, surviving because they know that Christ ultimately is the victor. It is genuine; it is real. Their worship is a rebuke of the intent of the Lord of darkness.

During World War II Charlie Chaplin cheered people up with satirical portrayals of Hitler as a stumbling buffoon. Maybe there is a parallel when we sing, in the words of Martin Luther: “And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us; We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us; the prince of darkness grim; we tremble not for him; his rage we can endure, for lo! his doom is sure, one little word shall fell him.”

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