Auschwitz Exhibit Takes an Unprecedented Look at Religion and Survival

The Fellowship  |  July 1, 2019

Auschwitz concentration camp
Auschwitz, Poland - July 2, 2009: The Auschwitz concentration camp is located about 50 km from Krakow. This photo is from Auschwitz II- Birkenau. The wooden barracks are simple compared to the brick houses in Auschwitz I. To the left are brick chimneys from barracks burned down by the nazis when the Red Army was getting close.

Discover the stories of 21 Holocaust survivors in Auschwitz Exhibit’s “Through the Lens of Faith” who held on to their faith during and after experiencing the horrors of Auschwitz.

Auschwitz survivor Avraham Zelcer stares intently into the camera. His rolled-up sleeve reveals the number tattooed onto his left forearm over three-quarters of a century ago, when he was deported to the infamous concentration camp from his native Czechoslovakia. Although the camp was liberated on January 27, 1945, Zelcer did not return to his Jewish faith until a year later.

It is understandable that experiencing the horrors of Auschwitz could try one’s religious beliefs. The camp claimed over 1.1 million lives during World War II, including almost a million Jews. Yet some prisoners managed to hold onto their faith. Their story is told in an upcoming exhibit at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum in Oświęcim, Poland, which will run through most of 2020, the 75th anniversary of the camp’s liberation.

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