Holocaust survivor tells story at Chabad of Hackensack
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Holocaust survivor tells story at Chabad of Hackensack

Dr. Moshe Avital
Dr. Moshe Avital

Holocaust survivor Dr. Moshe Avital told his story of faith and resilience at Chabad of Hackensack. 

Dr. Avital’s story began with the Hungarian and local police order for all Jews to gather in one location, bringing 25 pounds of belongings with them, as they marched to the train station. The bystanders waited to loot everything left behind. When they arrived in Auschwitz, they stood in line in front of Dr. Joseph Mengele. Some were told to go to the right, others to the left.

Dr. Avital’s father was sent to the left, Dr. Avital to the right. That was the last time he saw his father. When the Russian forces advanced toward the camps, they were evacuated by foot on the infamous death march. The only thing that kept Dr. Avital going was his faith. The march began with a few thousand prisoners but by the end only few hundred remained alive. Finally they arrived at the Buchenwald concentration camp, where Dr. Avital was housed at the children’s barracks, along with Elie Wiesel and Yisrael Lau, who eventually became Israel’ chief rabbi. He remembers a siren sounding as American bombers dropped bombs on the barracks used to house the Nazis, eventually setting them free.

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