Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
Contact Us
Rabbi Nissen Mangel was a 10-year-old child when he came to the Nazi death camp of Auschwitz. There he witnessed unspeakable atrocities, but he also witnessed amazing acts of faith. In this moving and powerful talk, Rabbi Mangel tells his firsthand account of what he saw. (Many viewers may find details described to be extremely disturbing. Viewer discretion advised.)

Belief in G‑d After the Holocaust

Belief in G‑d After the Holocaust

A child survivor of Auschwitz

 Email
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
50 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Meira Shana San Diego September 9, 2016

"... Suppose that here in the United States, the government decided to restrict what we Jews could do? What would we do? ..."
You seem unaware of the history of Jews in the USA - we were restricted from schools, various clubs, and places of employment! Shiploads of Jews were not allowed to get off those ships and were forced back to Europe where most were met by Nazis.

I'm in my late 70s and remember!!
A great movie to rent and watch: "Gentleman's Agreement" starring Gregory Peck.

The USA did not protect people of Japanese heritage - even though they were born here and citizens the USA government pulled them out of their homes and businesses and into camps, much like what Hitler did in Europe.

The USA does not have clean hands, especially about Jews ... and certainly not about Blacks and Native Americans!
How the people who lived through and survived the Holocaust is beyond me. Those who I met at various Holocaust Museums were so positive and non-hating. A miracle from G-d. Reply

Cheryl USA July 14, 2016

Never again can Jews &'Christians become complacent in regard to religious discrimination. It begins very subtly & then grows until it becomes out of control. I have personally witnessed horrific remarks from Muslims regarding Israel and decent people cannot allow this poison to grow anywhere in this world again. We must unite & be strong against those who wish destruction against Jews. Never again! Reply

Anonymous April 27, 2016

It's clear that the luz bone can be destroyed because I know many Jews who have been cremated (unfortunately). Sorry but this is just complete false whether he survived the holocaust or not. What an amazing story though!!! Reply

Patricia Kadoche thornhill November 21, 2015

Thank you Rabbi for sharing your life stories. They are truly inspiring...Baruch Hashem you were saved to show us and share with us the positive side. Reply

antonio sabella providence, r.i. March 23, 2015

It always amazes me how much faith some people can possess. During my life, my faith has wavered and at times been reduced to almost nothing. These stories make me feel ashamed at my lack of faith. Reply

anna alex Baltimore, aryland March 13, 2015

Rabbi, I am not Jewish but my heart aches with what the jewish people have gone through and what they are still going through. I agree with Pamela that you are an incredibele human being may you a nd your family's life always be blessed Reply

M. Ericson WI January 13, 2015

Listening to this heart wrenching story filled me with such pain and many, many tears for the indescribable atrocities this man suffered and endured as well as the unfathomable 6 million others. And yet when asked, "After the Holocaust how can you possibly believe in G-d?" He responds emphatically, "How can you not?" For, as he says, his very existence as a survivor is a miracle!
His faith in G-d after such unimaginable tragedy and horror remains untouched, perhaps even strengthened! For anyone who may momentarily experience doubts, his story and absolute conviction in the existence of G-d is awesomely inspiring.
May the Moshiach come soon and answer all of our questions. Reply

Doug January 19, 2014

Beverly Kurtin
I believe it can happen here when the economy collapses. Already many are blaming us. Our creator has already given a sign that the US is going to cease being the world's leading military and economic force and perhaps this is part of bringing us back to the promised land.
A beam from 9/11 hit the sycamore tree in front of the Church George Washington dedicated this country to God in, protecting the Church but uprooting the tree, on what is now called Ground Zero.

House speaker Tom Daschle as the US representative the day after 9/11 quoted Isaiah 9:10 “The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stones: the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars.”
The hearers of the speech were unaware of the context it was spoken -
Isaiah 9: 9 And all the people shall know, even Ephraim and the inhabitant of Samaria, that say in the pride and stoutness of heart,
11 Therefore the LORD shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and join Reply

Norma Martinez San Antonio May 20, 2013

The Lord allowed me the privilege of meeting a Holocaust survivor. She was a petite woman but very strong in the Lord. She told me her story. Then she showed me her tattoo. That tattoo made me feel the hopelessness , the degradation of being stripped of your humanity, worthlessness, no better than a piece of garbage. I felt all this in just one moment as I was looking at that tattoo. But this woman was living proof of a miracle . In short this is how she survived. She was in line for the crematorium. The person checking their papers was someone she knew. As she went up for her turn she was told to go the end of the line. The next day as she was coming up again the American Troops came and liberated them. She came to America and led a very successful life .Having lost her husband to these camps she remarried. I remember her often. Her story speaks of how incredible God is and His love for us. Never give up hope. Without it we have nothing. Reply

Beverly Kurtin Texas April 25, 2013

Suppose that here in the United States, the government decided to restrict what we Jews could do? What would we do? Would we, as did the Jews in Germany just do nothing about it? The German Jews were trying to be like the other Germans. They said that they were not Jews, they were Germans and Germany would not continue to do what they were doing. Hashem virtually wrote on the walls: GET OUT AND GET OUT NOW. Rather than escaping, the majority continued to think that being good Germans trumped their being Jews. I've mentioned it before that my family tried to get our relatives out to safety. What did they do with the money? Spent it. They were sent money three time! They wound up in Hitlers furnaces.
I know that here in the USA that nothing like what happened in Germany could happen here, but Hashem has given us Israel and it is there that we can flee to if, heaven forbid, this country turns against us, we have a place to go. Baruch Hashem! Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, ma April 16, 2013

The sequelae of TERROR.

Life is a marathon, and we're all in this together. That morning, before all this happened, I wrote on line, on my Facebook page, Jacques Brel: Marathon, which is the name of his song which goes, Marathon... mara mara Marathon. I was walking my dog later, feeling so burdened by what just happened, and suddenly saw that MARA, means bitter, and in fact our bitter herbs, on Passover are MAROR, which is related. Within the word, Marathon. MARA.

Those who run pass a hill on Commonwealth Avenue called Heartbreak Hill.

To accept it's all G_d is also to put G_d on trial, because within words, I see a story, that G_d wrote, not us. And I can say, everywhere I go, all that I do, is synchronous, and that my attention is visibly directed.

BASTA!

Enough!

There are planes of existence. My willows are heavy with leaf. I weep. Reply

Beverly Kurtin Texas April 4, 2013

Being blessed by being born in the United States during the Holocaust, I cannot blame anyone who lost everything when it was going on. My family lost 47 relatives who wouldn't come to safety. They thought that they would be safe where they were. They were sent money several times and they STAYED. What should Hashem done? Their experience was not singular.

That said, my faith is not based on what human beings do. Our poor understanding of what G-d should or should not do. Yes, Europe is once again on the precipice of wide-spread Jew hate again. Why? Can you say Islam?

Denmark, once a philosemitic nation is being infected (yes, INFECTED) with an influx of Muslims who bring the their poison of Jew hate with them. An article in Tablet's website reports that Jews are told to remove their "Jew hat." They hate Israel and consider ALL Jews as being Israelis. Once again, humans are spreading the disease. Hashem is punishing Europe by replacing their Jews with Muslims. Hmmm... Reply

Rachel MI, USA April 3, 2013

Slavery in Egypt was in itself an eternal death camp. There were no gas chamber and guns, but there were cruel punishments, murder of innocent children, and no chance of ever escaping. Yet G-d stepped in and saved his people. That didn't mean that hundreds, thousands, millions even didn't suffer. But it was the hope sustained inside the Hebrew people that kept them going for hundreds of years, without a heard word from G-d. And then Moses appeared and led his people to freedom. This was echoed throughout our history. The pain, suffering, and cruelty that those in the Holocaust endured was horrific. But the Jewish people have endured this many times and every time, G-d has come through. Reply

Anonymous Fairfax, va March 21, 2013

You say how can HaShem do this? Then answer how do we dare do brazenly break His commandments. All through the Torah it relates this behavior to Hashem as a jilted lover or a father who's children have rebelled. It is hurtful even to HaShem who wants nothing more for the good of His Creations
But, it is true humans did this and HaShem did not shield us from the Holocaust. Note He didn't protect us NOT that he did this.

Just remember this might also be the last installment of our punishment for the Golden Calf
At any rate He did protect us from being deleted totally and for that we need to give thanks.

The fact that there are survivors who do love HaShem today has overcome the evil that was perpetrated on us. If they can have a relationship with HaShem -- then so can we all Reply

Pamela Wetzel March 20, 2013

I'm not of Jewish faith but I feel that the strength of one's belief can help them survive the worst of life's nightmares! You are an incredible human being, Rabbi! May your life always be blessed! Reply

Anonymous March 4, 2013

Well, there was a chance to survive with God in Auschwitz. I know Jews who survived in Auschwitz. But, what a chance was in Blezec. Where was God in Belzec? Reply

Beverly Kurtin Texas February 22, 2013

Someone blamed G-d for the Holocaust. It was't. It was the German people who kept their mouths shut when Hitler became Chancellor.

Then, the majority of the Polish people turned on their Jews.

What am I saying? IT WAS HUMAN BEINGS THAT WERE RESPONSIBLE, STOP BLAMING THE CREATOR! Reply

Redneck Jew CA January 29, 2013

Why do you say Hashem did nothing. Actually as written Hashem works ALL things together for those who love G-d. Hashem put our people back in our ancestral homeland. He showed Himself mighty in ALL of our wars and the VERY existence of Israel shows His Wonderful and Mighty hand. And brother you aint seen nothing yet for the best is YET TO COME. "But you have saved the best for last" He has saved His best because WE haved suffered more than any one people group on the earth. And through it ALL He makes sure that for the purpose of His Holy and righteous Name we will STAY in that land and WHEN Gog and Magog come against us He will Himself will STAND as our mighty rock and we will "burn the enemies spears for 7 years" "The heaven's shall be rolled up like a scroll" Heaven and earth may pass away but His Word NEVER will. Reply

Michelle Wayne January 27, 2013

When 6 million in this 1.2 million children, baby's died beakose of God? and how many suffered beakose of God? Including my wonderful grandfather, grandmother, aunties, uncles, cousins that never had a chance and if this is what is God all about than than you you can kip it.Today even Jews fight each other in the name of God in Israeli cult against cult no unity, is this is what is God all about? Pure invention it's proven by Nazis, how many Nazis who murdered so many innocent people have lived in luxury after the war and no punishment? why? Why did I had to suffer antisemitism in Poland and they the murders lived till they 90- tees not feeling sorry, why they where not punished only I was?God?religion? human invention to control people. Reply

Beverly Kurtin Texas January 27, 2013

For those who cannot understand why we can believe in G-d after the Holocaust, get Viktor Frankl's book, "Man's Search for Meaning." He went through the Holocaust and came out with a strong belief in the G-d that so many dismiss.

Like it or not, we Jews are called the apple of G-d's eye; he protects us and prevents us from being completely wiped out. Ge it? While the Holocaust was going on, millions of His people were in other lands, safe from the reach of Hitler.

I've got some research to do before I comment further. Reply

Related Topics