Where Was God During the Holocaust

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It felt like the world would come to an end because the God is dead – that is how millions of chosen by Holocaust thought while escaping death day by day. Going through horrible experiences some lost their belief: “Where was God during the Holocaust ? Was He just indifferent – or worse, a sadist? If He could not be counted on to live up to His reputation for mercy and intervene, what good was He? And if He did not intervene, by what reasoning did He merit our allegiance?”. Millions of people faced moments that murdered their God, their souls and turned their dreams to ashes. They could not believe that the one who always gives mercy could allow all their families, all those people to be killed. They claimed that if there is any God, he himself will beg for forgiveness. Others found their hope in faith, because only the Lord remembers. They had moments of anger and protest that connected them closer to him for those reasons; they believed in God even when he was silent as they believed in the sun when it was not shining, as they believed in love when it could not be felt. People would pray to the Creator within them in order to give a strength to ask Him the right questions showing that only fanatics – in religion as well as in politics – can find a meaning in someone else’s death.

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To have faith is truly seeing light with your heart when the darkness is all that your eyes can see. Faith gave and continues to give people hope and hope itself makes all things work. The Jews were forced to saw on their clothing the yellow star of David which was a humiliation of not only religion: the yellow colour symbolized the dirty Jew, a sign of discrimination that forced antisemitic behavior – people could beat them up or attack without a reason. From that time on the Jews lived in fear – they were forced into cattle wagons taking them to the concentration camps where they were separated through a degrading selection process.

“I want you to follow the path of love, forgiveness and tolerance. Hang on to the three strongest pillars of life: faith, hope and love, and never let hatred enter your heart, because hatred is an evil force and ultimately it will destroy you”, were the last words Magda heard from her father. In order to survive, she had to accept an indescribable emotional pain of realization that what was going on was true, the past present of pure nightmare. Magda shares that it was the hardest thing she has even done in her entire life, trying to bring some positivity, some hope into herself convincing her spirit that all this inhumanity is not going to last forever. One day she collapsed, fell on her knees and prayed to God, hardly speaking and not being able to move. She thought she was going to die and asked The Lord to take her soul to heaven but on that day she also asked him for a sort of a miracle to give her a second chance, so she could dedicate her whole life to people sharing the memory of all those who perished there and the memory of the Holocaust.

That day the concentration camp was liberated by British soldiers. Magda referred to her lifesaver as a guardian angel, who found her lying on the ground surrounded by corpses and blinking. Nowadays, she is a former marathon runner, skier and mountain climber, lecturer and author of 14 books including her autobiography as well as poetry. She says it is only to God she has been able to forgive and fulfill her mission to never let Holocaust be forgotten. Despite all her experienced sufferings, she is still a loving and forgiving person; her desire for peace, harmony, love, tolerance and brotherhood on earth is best expressed in all her prayers which are enclosed in her book: “ Almighty God, upon I call you, do not let evil spirits possess my soul, do not let hatred strange my love or despair crush my hope”. 

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