Seventy years ago this month marked the most pivotal event of the 20th Century—and serves as a harbinger of a future more dramatic event. On 1st Septemer in 1939 blitzkrieg exploded into the dictionary as Nazi Germany ignited what we now call World War II by launching a lightning war against Poland.
For nearly six deadly and exhausting years the Axis powers battled and slaughtered nation after nation until they collapsed under the combined war-making weight of the Anglo-Saxon powers and Soviet Russia.
It's also the 70th anniversary of a bitter totalitarian irony. Just over a week earlier on 23rd August of 1939 Germany's Adolf Hitler signed the Hitler-Stalin Pact with Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. In essence they carved Europe into Nazi and Communist pieces of empirical pie. The irony is that a little less than two years later Germany ignored the treaty and attacked the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa.
Of the 70 million who died in World War II, tens of millions were cold-blooded, systematic murders of their longtime or newly conquered subjects by these and other dictatorial regimes.
Dr. Rudolf Rummel of the University of Hawaii reckons in his book Death by Government that Hitler's Nazis exterminated 20.9 million of the peoples they ruled during their regime and including the six years of the war. Hitler killed faster than any dictator in history—but Stalin killed more.
The daily Luxemburger Wort commented recently on the Hitler-Stalin Pact: "The 'thunderbolt from Moscow' still reverberates in today's world as a warning: for where there are unjust regimes, dictatorships of all colors, disregard for human rights and nations' rights, where morals, dignity and political decency are treated cynically, the demonic grins of Hitler and Stalin, the twentieth century's worst criminals, are smirking in the background. Thank God that up to now they have had no successor to match the extent of their savagery. But their perfidious spirit - they were enemies in their ideological opposition but allies in their mutually beneficial atrocities - still prevails today in some states…"
"The 20th century's worst criminals…up to now no successors to match the extent of their savagery…" Seventy years without another war of such magnitude is something to thank God for. But Bible prophecy reveals that there will be a successor who will pale the Hitler-Stalin savagery.
However, the good news is that that future, beastly dictator will also be vanquished—by the intervention of Jesus Christ Himself! That war will be followed by not just 70 years, but a full 1000 years of peace.
For GN magazine, I'm Randy Stiver.