Purim in Auschwitz

For survivors, Purim wasn't simply a victory that happened thousands of years ago.

Comments (24)

(23) walter, October 26, 2014 5:16 PM

purim story beaytifull touching from a survivor

just read your story a bit late however never to late

(22) shmuel, February 23, 2014 10:06 PM

question: auschwitz or dachau?

just read the same story in another aish article-"purim in the valley of tears"-i think lori (and the title) mixed up dachau and auschwitz
awesome story either way!

(21) Miriam Shoshanah, February 26, 2013 4:10 PM

Alarm Clocks

Purim is the one Holiday that humbles me above all others. I was an RN for 30 years b4 I was forced into the world of disability (or, 'lessability', as I like to call it). My entire adult life up until that day in 2002 was all about caring for others. Being "benched" has been an extremely big challenge in every way possible for 11 years. Then comes Purim. My amazing family comes and is jaw-droppingly generous to me every year. I cannot even wrap my mind around the bitachon it took for those imprisoned into the death/slavery prisons, like Auschwitz. .. or as POW's to fulfill Mitzvah such as Purim. I became a Ba'al Teshuva soon after childhood Polio symptoms returned and stopped what I thought my life was about. I srll struggleon Purim between feelings of graritude & humility and feeling a deep sadness that I can ni longer contribute, go to hear the Reading, etcetera... So it was very uplifting to hear this story. How much HaShem loves us through even the hardest tests/lessons, especially if we are Learning and noticing/staying awakened inside. I needed this story. It was another alarm clock moment for me. I feel imprisoned. Each day I get to struggle my way back to inner Shalom. My struggle pales when I heard tthis. Less abled. Much more grateful. TY, again.

(20) muray relkin, September 5, 2011 9:20 PM

Very moving and thought provoking

(19) Sarah, June 1, 2011 3:54 AM

Touched by the mention of my grandfather

Looking back through this series of "Lori, Almost Live" and enjoying it immensely, I was pleasently surprised at the mention of my grandfather, R'Yisroel Yitzchok Cohen. He was and and still is a true hero and wonderful person. He had great strength and faith during the holocaust, and shared these with countless others, giving them ability to survive mentally and physically with hope of the future. Today he is still an inspiration to me, my family, and countless others. There's so much more to be said, and I'm sure Mrs. Palatnik knows this. I'd like to thank her for sharing just one of his many unbelievable stories. May he continue to be a real hero, live and be healthy ad meah veesrim. Thank you.

(18) Malka Miller, March 21, 2011 10:47 PM

Purim Blessings

Wonderful-wonderful-Wonderful.Thank you very much.Shalom from Malka

(17) Mordechi, March 18, 2011 11:19 PM

i enjoy your talk my question is how you choose your titel is very nice how you come with it Almost live. thanks

(16) Rivkah, March 18, 2011 8:44 PM

Thanks Allen. May G-d bless you and you belong to G-d also. I am deeply inspired by this video clip.

(15) Bernard Yablin, March 18, 2011 6:52 PM

POW Purim

There is the story of Jewish Americans POWs(106th Infantry) in Germany who were able to observe Purim in 1945 because someone had hidden a Megillah.

(14) Emmanuel Fidel, March 18, 2011 4:14 PM

God Bless You

Wow, Wonderful Hod bless you Dear Lori Palatnik

(13) Jan Stoffers, March 18, 2011 2:45 PM

Happy Purim to you all.

We love the people of Israil.

(12) David, March 18, 2011 1:50 PM


Celebrating Purim at Auschwitz was a great act of defiance. There's both a parallel and an irony to the Auschwitz/Purim story. In both the Megillah and at Auschwitz, God is (or at least seems to be) absent. And yet, in the Megillah, the Jews all survive. No such miracle was to occur at Auschwitz. In the end, the Jews were not "victorious;" nor does it behove us to pretend that we were. In fact, we were decimated, and then saved by the intervention of the allied powers. When one looks at the contrast between Purim and Auschwitz, one has to wonder, if the Purim story was God's hidden intervention, what was Auschwitz?

Malka Miller, March 21, 2011 10:56 PM


No man or woman can explain the evil that overtook our people.It was one man's ability to incite hatred and death and destruction. However yes the Jews were Victorious in many aspects regardless of what happened. I have returned to Judaism from a Marrano background/ My family was forced to convert and many of them died in Spain. I am the only one of my family to return. Esther was our heroine-Purim was the holiday we loved and cherished in those dark days. I have returned to Jewish life and I have honored my ancestors,what they did for Purim was important because we are still standing! As long as one Jew lives the world knows there is a God! I can only say that in my life I have had more miracle than I can count on. What we can do is thumb our nose at Adolph HItler and all who still follow him and show our ancesters we cannot be defeated! We must remember the Past and fight for our future G-d Bless those who had the courage to celebrate Purim, Shalom to you all.

(11) Susan, March 18, 2011 1:39 PM

Thank you, Lori!

This was a beautiful expression of the true meaning of Purim! Thank you for sharing your Mr. Cohen's story with us. Hope you and your family enjoy Purim!

(10) James, March 18, 2011 9:28 AM

Happy Purim

As always, Thank you Lori.

(9) Fabio, March 18, 2011 6:51 AM

Hashem Gubor, Hashem Echad!

This is the so often sought after true unity; unity among men, unity with the One G-d... Am Yisrael Chai!!!

(8) Moshe, March 17, 2011 5:11 AM


Thank you so much, I needed some tears. Happy Purim!

(7) Slapshot, March 16, 2011 7:44 PM

From what did Mr. Cohen read?

I'd be curious to know if Mr. Cohen actually had access to a copy of megillat Esther in Auschwitz, or did he read it b'al peh (from memory)?

(6) Joshua, March 16, 2011 6:06 PM

Happy Purim

thanks Lori for the inspiring story it bought tears in my eyes I wanna wish klal yisrael a very happy Purim and we should nave see pain again like we just head in Israel cag sumach

(5) Paul, March 16, 2011 5:45 PM

Happy Purim

Happy Purim Lori and everyone.

(4) Jan, March 16, 2011 4:54 PM


Beautiful story! Mr. Cohen was a hero! I am amazed at the courage to celebrate Purim and the rest of the holidays and Holy Days in Auschwitz. Am Yisrael Chai!

(3) Chavy, March 14, 2011 4:12 AM

How appropriate these words are today after the terrible massacre that just ocurred over Shabbos in E"Y. While we are happy on Purim, this and so many other incidents should remind of the serious message of Purim.

(2) Allen Fredericks, March 13, 2011 11:43 PM

Purim in Auschwitz

Hitler couldn't kill the Jews, no one can! They belong to GOD, even celebrating Purim in Auschwitz. Thus says this gentile, Allen

(1) Ayalah Haas, March 13, 2011 12:50 PM

Megillat Esther Ch.8, Verse 16

THANK YOU for this powerful story. I am reminded of what we Jews say at Havdala every week, quoting from Megillat Esther: "For the Jews, there was light, gladness, joy and honor." So may it be for us.


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