Sermon Illustrations

Eichmann Is In All Of Us

In 1960, Israeli undercover agents orchestrated the daring kidnapping of one of the worst of the Holocaust’s masterminds, Adolf Eichmann. After capturing him in his South American hideout, they transported him to Israel to stand trial. There, prosecutors called a string of former concentration camp prisoners as witnesses. One was a small man named Yehiel Dinur, who had miraculously escaped death in Auschwitz. On his day to testify, Dinur entered the courtroom and stared at the man in the bulletproof glass booth - the man who had murdered Dinur’s friends, personally executed a number of Jews, and presided over the slaughter of millions more. As the eyes of the two man met - victim and murderous tyrant - the courtroom fell silent, filled with the tension of the confrontation. But no one was prepared for what happened next. Yehiel Dinur began to shout and sob, collapsing to the floor. Was he overcome with hatred? By the horrifying memories? By the evil incarnate in Eichmann’s face?

No. As he later explained in a 60 Minutes interview, it was because Eichmann was not the demonic personification of evil that Dinur had expected. Rather, he was just an ordinary man, just like anyone else. And in that one instant, Dinur came to a stunning realization that sin and evil are the human condition. "I was afraid about myself," he said. "I saw that I am capable to do this ... exactly like he." Mike Wallace turned to the camera and asked this question: "How was it possible for a man to act as Eichmann acted? Was he a monster? A madman? Or was he perhaps something even more terrifying - was he normal?

Dinur’s shocking conclusion - "Eichmann is in all of us."

From a sermon by Bret Toman, How Will We Relate to God in Heaven? 1/2/2010

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