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Survivors During The Holocaust

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Adolf Hitler attempted to massacre an entire group of people in the "Final Solution"

during the Holocaust. Not only did he strive for genocide, but also his goal was to

abolish the belief and faith that had been practiced and been persecuted in the last

3,000 years. Many Jews that were sent to ghettos and concentration camps lost faith in

God and stopped believing in Him. Others, though, kept the fire of tradition burning

throughout the long night. The survivors of the Holocaust that tried to preserve the

Jewish faith through the hours of darkness have taught people to keep their faith strong

and have everlasting hope.

David Weiss Halivini was a goal oriented, well learned teenager in Romania during the

1930's and 1940's. He hoped to one day become the rabbi of a small village in the

Carpathian Mountains. His dreams were abruptly halted when Germany invaded

Romania in 1942. When David was forced into a ghetto, he continued his Jewish

learning, which included the study of the Torah and Talmud. David ignored the events of

the world around him. Soon after the invasion, David and his entire family were sent to

the Auschwitz concentration camp and his faith was severely put to a test.

When David and his family arrived at Auschwitz, David was separated from his family

and was sent to the Gross-Rosen labor camp to work on a team that cut stones for

building roads. The work was strenuous but he was able to handle it because he had

hope in God. That hope was beginning to fade until David spotted a guard eating a

sandwich wrapped in a bletl, a page from a Jewish religious text. David ran to the guard

and asked for the text and immediately gained his once questioned hope back. That one

page (Paragraph 434 of the laws of Passover) gave the stonecutters of Gross-Rosen

the energy they needed to work everyday. David and the other workers would study that

sheet secretly everyday, because they felt that it would make them closer to God and

that he would someday save them. Once more and more people of the group were

dying and disappearing, David was asked if he still believed that there was a God. He

replied, "Without God, it is even more cruel. God gave man power, and God gave man

his free will." David survived Auschwitz and moved to America in 1947 where he began

his new life. David certainly would not have been able to survive such hardships without

preserving his faith in God.

In contrast to David Halivini, David Bram grew up in Rusiec, Poland as a non-observant

Jew. When the Nazis rounded up the Brams in 1940, David volunteered to work in place

of his father, so that David's father could support the family. When David left his family

at that point, he never saw them again. David was alone in the world and throughout the




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