Scrapbookpages Blog

November 1, 2011

the War of the Crosses at Auschwitz

Filed under: Holocaust — Tags: , , — furtherglory @ 11:38 am

The War of the Crosses at Auschwitz began in 1979 when Polish Catholics placed a small Christian cross at the site of “the little white house” in the Auschwitz II camp, aka Birkenau. The cross was placed there on the occasion of the announcement by the Vatican that the Catholic church was initiating the beatification process for Edith Stein, a converted Jew, who had become a Carmelite nun before she was gassed in Bunker #2, aka “the little white house.”

Beatification is the first step toward sainthood, but before that, there must be some indication that the candidate for sainthood was a martyr, or at least that he or she performed a miracle.  Edith Stein qualified as a martyr because she was gassed in Bunker #2.

My photo of the site of “the little white house”

After the Catholics fired the first shot in the War of the Crosses, the Jews fired back when they erected symbols of their own in honor of the Jews who were gassed in “the little white house.”  The war was to last for ten years.  The War of the Crosses was fought to establish whether or not the Jews had the right to claim Auschwitz as their own, with the exclusion of all other groups that had also suffered at the hands of the Nazis.  Edith Stein was gassed because she had been born a Jew, but the Catholics were claiming her as one of their own because she had converted to Catholicism.