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Belief Beat

Fun Friday: Holocaust Survivor Disco Dances at Auschwitz

I’ve found a working YouTube link, so that’s fixed for now. (Please post in the Comments section if it stops working, and I’ll find another one again.)

It’s a matter of global Jewish blogosphere debate whether this YouTube video of a Holocaust survivor triumphantly dancing to “I Will Survive” with his grandchildren at central European concentration camps and other Nazi sites qualifies as inspirational or disrespectful

My vote goes to inspirational. Then again, I bawled during Life is Beautiful and laughed during Inglourious Basterds; people who had other reactions to those films might feel differently about this video, too. Check it out:

Plus, as far as Jewish debates go this week, it’s at least more entertaining than the uproar over a conversion bill that may give Israel’s Orthodox rabbis the authority to determine who is a Jew, which could impact things like Israeli citizenship, marriages and funeral rites. (Nevermind whether you would have been considered Jewish enough to be sent to the places where this survivor now triumphantly dances; many Holocaust victims and self-identifying Jews today wouldn’t meet these proposed standards.) For more on why diaspora Jews in America and elsewhere have cause for concern, check out my Columbia J-school classmate Alana Newhouse’s op-ed piece in The New York Times.


What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.

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posted July 16, 2010 at 2:49 pm

Emotions of people are never the same. The judgers should just think their thoughts and keep quiet.
The Orthodox Jews deciding on who should be a Jewish person shouldn’t control unorthodox members of the Jewish religion. But then it is Israel and not the U.S.A. Can’t understand why they wouldn’t rather be where there is freedom from this Orthodox person there.

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dianne bruhin

posted July 16, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Much is stated biblically about serving God with joy and gladness with no qualifications added. Whatever horrors can occur in our world in general and to us specifically there is this purposeful dictate, rich with abundant promise, giving way to the Truth that we cannot be overcome by the darkness that seeks to destroy us. What boldness to rejoice in the face of it all… even dance over what could have been our own grave sight. I for one found delight in the strength producing joy of this 89 year old man dancing with his grandchildren, this speaks more of remembering and overcoming than anything I have experienced over the years of attending the Holocaust Awareness Week at the local university in my community. Bravo!

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Your Name MaryLou Ross

posted July 16, 2010 at 3:26 pm

This country seems it’s on a perpetual vendetta – complain and find fault with everything, everyone, whatever is done, what isn’t done, etc. Old saying “Some people would complain if they were hung with a NEW ROPE”.
This man definetly felt joyful because he was there, he survived, and he could bring his posterity to enjoy the moment with him. I firmly believe there is a very fine veil between us and those that have gone on before and I can just imagine the happiness experienced by all of the souls lost in that camp – I’m sure they wre rejoicing also. All I can say is “Dance, old man! Dance!”

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chris querry

posted July 16, 2010 at 3:36 pm

My great grandparents were from Austria and were holocaust survivers.If they haden’t survived I would’nt be here.I applaud the holocaust surviver that does the disco on the tained grounds of of his nightmares. Anyone at his age should be applauded for just being able to dance, Period. Bless his grandchildren for supporting him and his beliefs. Bravo to this triumphant gentleman. May he sleep peaceful now.

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posted July 16, 2010 at 4:56 pm

I can’t comment on the videos except that it looks joyful to me.
As far as the bill in the Knesset, it’s the kind of thing fundamentalists will always do sooner or later if a country is foolish enough to give them power. If I were Israeli I’d absolutely hate it, I think, though I’m not really sure of the status of atheist Israelis.
But since my country is America and our connection with Israel is one of the worst things happening to us I hope they pass this and it causes a disconnect between American Jews and Israel. Of course it probably won’t bother the American fundamentalist Christians who make up the other part of the Israeli lobby in America that hurts us so much.

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posted July 19, 2010 at 8:13 pm

I am a Holocaust survivor but I could not see anything like this at a place like Auschwitz where so many people perished. This could not be a place of joy for anybody. I think if he would really want to show joy privately it would be a different situation. This way it showed disrespect to the victims.I don’t understand this kind of behavior and I am appalled.

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posted August 23, 2010 at 1:25 am

Can I just say what a relief to find someone who actually knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You definitely know how to bring an issue to light and make it important. More people need to read this and understand this side of the story. I cant believe youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

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posted August 24, 2010 at 9:05 pm

You without doubt have a style all your own when it comes to creating these nice blog posts.

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posted September 8, 2010 at 6:30 am

Good blog! I truly love how it’ s easy on my eyes and the facts are well written. I am wondering how I can be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which should do the trick! Have a nice day!

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posted June 17, 2015 at 2:31 am

he blog was how do i say it… relevant, finally something that helped me. Thanks

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