Today the BBC reported a story that intrigued me greatly. The newsline reads “Top Nazi Rudolf Hess exhumed from ‘pilgrimage’ grave”.
What? People are taking pilgrimages to the right-hand man of Adolph Hitler? In 2011? The local church there had ruled to honor the wishes of Hess in his will. So they buried Hess in a grave in a Bavarian town, where his family had a holiday home. The church valued honor and acted according to respect of a dead man.
“The local Lutheran church which supervises the cemetery gave its permission for the burial at the time, ruling that the wishes of the deceased could not be ignored, the Suddeutsche Zeitung reports.
But they and local people have since become concerned by the number of far-right groups visiting the grave. Each year on the anniversary of his death, neo-Nazis have attempted to staged a march to the cemetery, saluting the grave, with its epitaph “I dared” and laying floral wreaths.”
We in America would think it so blessedly obvious that a Nazi grave is not something to be saluted, not something worthy of any kind of honor. Yet year after year, Nazi supporters still staged marches to this man’s grave and honored him with wreaths! So in the end, the church there decided to exhume Hess’ body and destroy it.
Sometimes the obvious church action (honor, respect) is not the obvious course of action (destroy the grave) that is in line with truth.