Firsthand: Testimonies of Messianic Jews Surviving the Holocaust


One of the questions I was often asked when I first traveled to this country was, “Were the concentration camps really as horrible as the news says?”

Now the question sounds different: “Was it really as terrible as it was shown in “The Shelter” and “The Holocaust”?”

I answer: “Yes. Only that there was even worse! Because it can’t be shown on TV or in the cinema. And, of course, it is impossible to exaggerate what happened there. “

The fact that this question is still being asked of people like me shows people’s reluctance to accept the truth about some of the events in our history – a truth that is so terrible that we try to hide from it and get away from it.

When I began to believe that Jesus was the Messiah of the Jews, and dedicated my life to Him, I was amazed at how many questions and misunderstandings it caused.

One scripture that touched me the most was Isaiah 53. Even the little I had heard of Jesus before was enough to see clearly what it said about Him. But when I try to explain why I believe Jesus is the Messiah, people don’t want me to refer to the Bible. This surprises me, because after all, Judaism is based on Scripture.

While studying medicine, I had to read and remember what was written in medical books, not the opinions of the authors of popular magazines. About the same story is with faith. One reason I started reading the Scriptures was because I wanted to know what God was saying, not people. After all, I discovered that even in Judaism, in its current form, there are a tremendous number of interpretations and traditions in following the precepts of the Torah.

Like most Jews, I believed that Christianity was a pagan religion that had nothing to do with me. But on the day I dedicated my life to the Messiah Jesus, I realized that I had not “changed” my faith, but rather grew into what I had always believed.

“Interview with Dr. Vera Schlamm,” September 1, 1985 // QUESTIONS: The Jewish View of the Messiah, Vol. 4, no. 3.


In early 1945, the Allies destroyed the Nazi war machine faster than it was able to recover. There were no more ammunition factories to work in and beet to harvest from the field, so my sister Sarah and I were useless.

We could no longer and did not want to be kept in Bergen-Belsen (concentration camp in Lower Saxony – ed.). So they put us on the train again, took us deep into Germany, and dropped us off at the Dachau (concentration camp in southern Germany – ed.).

As Sarah and I tried to settle on the top bunk, I noticed that she was weaker than usual and her face had turned red. Then I saw a rash on his hands. Sarah was ill with typhus. Thousands of people died of this terrible disease, but it was crucial for Sarah to look as healthy as possible. The guards were looking for people with signs of a high fever, so when they came to check on the barracks, I covered my sister with an old blanket and lay down on her. For that moment the danger was over, but Sarah’s fever was still rising. His skin became hotter. “She needs medication, at least aspirin,” she told our barracks.

I couldn’t let my Sarah die. That night I waited until everyone fell asleep and sneaked into the hospital in the dark. The fear of losing her sister was greater than the fear of being caught. And still my heart wanted to jump out of my chest! When I finally got to the hospital, I was surprised to find that it was not locked. I took a deep breath and sneaked in. I thought at least the lockers were locked, but to my surprise they were open as well.

I grabbed as many packs of medicine as I could carry. I didn’t know much German or read names, so I rushed back to the barracks and woke up the woman who had said that Sarah needed aspirin. We opened Sarah’s mouth and forced her to swallow several tablets every few hours. After a few days, the fever subsided and she began to eat again. I knew that I would not survive without my sister, and therefore I quietly thanked God that He had spared her, both for herself and for me.

Rose Price “Rose from the Ashes” (San Francisco, 2006)


When World War II began, I was seventeen. We lived pretty well. And then, on September 1, 1939, the Nazis entered my hometown and I escaped with five Polish friends.

We headed east – first by train, then on foot. Then the Nazi soldiers caught up with us and all the other refugees and told us to return home. So I returned home after an absence of four or five weeks and saw that the Nazis had taken over all the Jewish shops.

All Jewish men between the ages of 16 and 60 were expelled, put on a train, and sent to the Russian border. Then they opened the wagons and started firing. The Jews fled in confusion.

I had a Jewish friend who brought my brother to me and we lived together until the summer of 1940, when the Russians expelled us to Siberia. My brother and I tried to escape from Russia to Afghanistan, but we were detained on the Afghan border and we were assigned two years in prison. My brother died a year later. I spent 22 months in Soviet prisons.

My uncles invited me to Brazil, I moved in with them, and started working in the factory. One guy from the factory invited me to his church. That first night I saw a movie that touched my heart. I accepted Jesus as my Savior. It happened on May 15, 1955. This guy wrote that date in the Bible in Portuguese and gave the Bible to me. In my house you do not see crosses, but all the doors have mezuzahd. Everyone sees that this is a Jewish home. But Jesus is our Messiah.

From the story of the survivors: hope from where it wasn’t expected, DVD, 60 min. (San Francisco, 2004)