How is the Spanish Inquisition simular to the Holocaust?
Andrew Mathis Responds:I would say it's similar really only in two ways:
(1) Jews were the primary target of persecution; and (2) In the process many, many Jews were killed.
The Spanish Inquisition was an entirely religious move on the part of the Roman Catholic Church in Spain to force confessions from Jews who had faked conversions in order to stay in Spain but who were still practicing Judaism in secret. Actually, there were relatively few Jews whose conversions were false, but many Jews suffered when the Inquisitors became overzealous and began to torture and kill Jews regardless of whether they were suspect of false conversion.
The Holocaust, while it has its foundations in medieval Christian anti-Semitism, was primarily motivated by so-called racial anti-Semitism, i.e., that Jews constitute a separate -- and inferior -- racial stock. Even Jews who had sincerely converted to other religions were killed, as were Jewish atheists.
Hope that helps.
back to the list of questions
Last modified: September 18, 2004