Faith

The Devastation of European Jewry

The Devastation of European Jewry

I once visited the death camp of Auschwitz in Poland. This was an infamous concentration and forced labor camp, where the Germans, may their name be blotted out, destroyed many of our people, may Hashem avenge their blood.

I almost went insane at the sights that met my eyes.

The photographs taken of the emaciated inmates, the piles of shoes, and other items of clothing all bear testimony to the terrible atrocities committed by the Germans during the Second World War. Who can look at the findings in this camp and remain unmoved?

I asked the guide, “How many Jews went through this camp?”

  1. A visit to the Death Camps in Europe

“When the crematorium ovens weren’t working, the barracks contained, at times, over one hundred thousand Jews.”

“And how many Germans were appointed as watchmen?” I continued.

He thought a moment, and then said there were only a few hundred German soldiers who served as guards.

There was something here which I couldn’t understand. “If there were so many more inmates than guards, why didn’t they gather and fight back? They had strength in numbers and could easily have overcome their tormentors. Why didn’t they ever band together and rebel?”

The guide could not answer my logical question.

I therefore answered it myself. “There is no force which can fight Hashem’s will.”

There is no rational explanation for the Holocaust. The more questions one asks, the less answers he will get. The terrible conditions which the Jews were subject to in those days came as punishment for our sins.

Today, so many years later, when we stand upon this accursed soil, where so many of our brethren were sacrificed al kiddush Hashem, we must be conscious of the following: A Jew can never hide from his identity. One who is born a Jew will die as a Jew. When Jews forget this principle, wishing to intermingle among the gentiles and adopt their lifestyle, Hashem is forced to strike at them. He hides Himself from them, as it were, until they return to Him wholeheartedly.

In spite of this difficult exile, Hashem’s kindness abounds. He will continue watching over Am Yisrael in every generation until the coming of Mashiach.

 

The Devastation of European Jewry

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