Surviving the Holocaust
Beside slaughtering the Jewish people, the Nazis also tried to break the Jewish spirit. We have heard many times how the Jewish soul survives even in the darkest of times. This video presents one account that needs to be told.
The story is told of two German SS soldiers who approached a group of Jewish workers in one of the concentration
camps. They said to the Jews, “We want you to sing a song for us, and dance to it as well.”
While the Nazis wanted to annihilate the Jewish people, they also wanted to dehumanize them along the way, to torture them both physically and mentally.
Now these Jews were scared, they were malnourished and their spirits were rock bottom. The last impulse they had
was to want to dance. But they had no choice. So they chose one of the songs that they used to sing in their Jewish
communities when they were younger – “ashreinu mah tov chelkeinu umanaim goralanu“. Which meant, happy are
we, how goodly is our portion, how pleasant is our lot, and how beautiful our heritage.” Now it might have been
somewhat ironic to be saying these words – how good is our portion, how goodly our lot – when they were trapped in a living hell. But they had to keep going.
Video transcript continued…
Then the Nazis started screaming at them, ‘louder, faster, come on, louder, faster, let’s go.’ So they had to keep
going. ‘Louder, faster, louder, faster’. And so these Jews kept singing it, and they started dancing harder and
faster, louder and faster, until they started to really get into it. And they really started singing and dancing
with an energy that they never knew was actually inside of them.
Then these Nazi soldiers got slightly aggravated. “Something isn’t quite right here”, they said to one another. They wanted to see the Jews being distressed, downtrodden, dehumanized. Instead, the Jews were happy, uplifted, with almost metaphysical energy. This is a rebellion, they thought, and they couldn’t bear it, so they screamed at them, ‘Stop, Stop.’ But the Jews just wouldn’t stop, they just kept going, they sang louder and faster. ‘Stop’ they yelled. But the Jews didn’t stop. In the end, they had to shoot at them until the Jews dispersed.
To find out what happened next, make sure to watch the video!
The Holocaust was a monumental tragedy in which Nazis killed millions of Jews. It represents the lowest depths of humanity. Yet it also represents the survival of the Jewish people and Jewish spirit from great destruction. Please continue to learn about what happened during the Holocaust.
Here are some resources: