Dancing Auschwitz Controversy

I received this video in an Email a few weeks ago, with the assurance that it would make me laugh and make me cry. And it certainly did. Seeing this 89-year-old Holocaust survivor dancing his victory dance over Hitler with his daughter and grandchildren at Auschwitz moved me profoundly. But when I saw that this controversial video had sparked WWIII in the Youtube comments and in the Jewish community as a whole, I wasn’t sure whether to post it or not.

But in the end, I feel that this is a video that Jewish moms should see. Think about it. This survivor’s victory is his Jewish children and grandchildren. What a crucial reminder for us moms: it’s a reminder that every Jewish child you give birth to is another candle lit in a pitch-black room, another infusion of good into a world poisoned by so much evil.

Another victory against that cursed man who almost succeeded in making sure that there would never ever be another Jewish child. (Thanks to Nachlaot sisters Yikrat Friedman and Noga Hullman for sending this video my way)

AP interview with the video’s stars, defending themselves against critics and explaining their motivations for making “Dancing Auschwitz”

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7 comments

  1. On one level I can understand why they would want to do such a thing.. but I don’t know how they could come to dance in such a happy way in a place where so many people died.

  2. I want to add that while I don’t want to ever judge a survivor, the same objective could have been accomplished by bringing a bunch of cheder children learning the aleph bais etc.. That jewish children still exist and are learning Torah says much more than people dancing like that.

  3. I have to say, that having visited Germany and Poland (including Auschwitz) I think what they did is brilliant. Juxtaposing such a happy disco song with such despair, truly shows how much we have survived. The skies over Auschwitz and Bergen/Belsen are always grey. I think this survivor and his family should be praised.

  4. Thank G-d I have no idea what it means to have lived as a Jew during WW2- If this man and his family want to dance- Go for it! The fact that this man is still smiling is a miricle- I know many survivors who can not move on and there whole life has been a bitter struggle.

  5. As the granddaughter of 4 Holocaust survivors, and as an observant Jew living in Germany it really hurts me to see that Jews themselves would make and support this video. Aside from the ADLs opinion that this video might be misunderstood, I believe that the Holocaust is one topic that CANNOT be laughed about, in no way.
    The maker of this video speaks of the “Desensitization of the Holocaust” and I think that this video only contributes to this tendency.
    Also, it might be this family’s way to cope with their tragic history and eventual positive outcome. However, I doubt that the vast majority of survivors is able to see it that way, especially considering that each and every survivor himself has lost family or someone dear to him in this mass murder. Thinking of other survivors and their families should have been reason enough for this video to NOT be published. I believe the publication of this video disrespectful in every possible way.

  6. Hadassah Aber

    this moved me to tears. It really shows who won. True, it isn’t in the spirit of halocha but “Am Yisroel chai!” and as Theodor Bikel sang, “alla soynai Yisroel in der aird arain (all our enemies should be six feet under!) We as a nation did and will survive. and as your friend sings so beautifully “VahaKodosh Boruch matzilaynu meyadam.” (Hashem saves us from their hands.”

  7. Debbie Davis

    What a beautiful tribute to all those who suffered during the Holocaust to show that there is now a future filled with children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren and that their lives can be filled with love, laughter and joy. We did more than just survive, we will never forget those horrible times but we are no longer victims – we have grown and flourished and with Hashem’s help we will continue to do so.

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