An Improbable Relic of Auschwitz: A Shofar That Defied the Nazis

By Ralph Blumenthal
Chaskel Tydor, a survivor of Auschwitz, described for his family how, despite the danger, this shofar, or ceremonial ram’s horn, was blown at the camp during prayers.
For years there have been fragmentary reports of almost unbelievable acts of faith at the Nazi death camps during World War II: the sounding of shofars, the ram’s horn trumpets traditionally blown by Jews to welcome the High Holy Days. These stories of the persistence of hope even in mankind’s darkest moments have been passed down despite limited evidence and eyewitness detail. But could camp prisoners have found ways to sound these horns, piercing the heavens with sob-like wails and staccato blasts, without putting themselves in immediate mortal danger? [More]