Shoshana, an elderly Holocaust survivor, remembers the day she came face to face with the Angel of Death. The young Jewish woman lived in poverty, but in peace, in rural Hungary. And then the Nazis invaded.
The Angel of Death
The Germans first relocated Shoshana, her parents, and her grandparents to a ghetto for Jews. While daily life in the ghetto seemed like prison, the Nazis began to empty the ghetto, sending Jews to an even worse fate.
They herded Shoshana and her family like cattle onto overcrowded train cars. For three days, the Nazi train hauled thousands of Hungarian Jews to an unknown destination, providing them no water, food, or sanitation.
The boxcar door finally opened when the train stopped at Auschwitz. As they stepped off the car, adjusting their eyes to the sunlight, Dr. Josef Mengele — the Nazi “Angel of Death” — stood before them, signaling to the right, meaning so-called life in the work camp, or left, condemning Jews to certain death.
Mengele sent Shoshana to the right and her parents and grandparents left to “shower.” Those she loved most took their final anguished breaths in a gas chamber, then burned to ash in the crematorium.
Hope for the High Holy Days…and Beyond
Shoshana’s family died. But Shoshana survived. And she still survives. Now 98, this sweet elderly woman lives with her handicapped daughter. Until the ongoing pandemic, the two relied on a Fellowship soup kitchen for their meals each day.
The crisis hasn’t really affected Shoshana’s economic condition, as she has always been impoverished. But mentally, the pandemic has kept her homebound and alone.
The soup kitchen, which threw her a 98th birthday party before the crisis began, continues to deliver meals each day, providing these precious children of God food and faith. And Shoshana looks forward to food from The Fellowship during the upcoming High Holy Days, even if she must celebrate them from home. All of this is only possible thanks to Shoshana’s angels of hope – Fellowship friends around the world who love her.