Letter from David In Israel Re: The Survival Mindset and the Holocaust

Last year I met with Eline Hoekstra Dresden. Among the things she gave me along with her book “Wishing Upon A Star, A Tale of the Holocaust and Hope” was a bookmark
that I will quote:

[begin quote]
During my years of public speaking, I have been asked repeatedly, “how did you live through the Holocaust?” I usually answer “I don’t really know.” However, the following list provides examples of things that worked for me (along with luck).
Tools for Survival
* Be alert, not paranoid
* Be optimistic, but realistic
* Find strength in faith (whichever)
* Recognize hidden danger
* Do not ever show weakness
* Listen to “gut” feelings
* Use humor daily
* Draw on inner strength
* Take care of your health
* Stay productive
* Don’t let your guard down
* Face danger with courage
* Share your fears with others
* do not ever give up hope
* Before going to sleep, Imagine better times.
*Keep these tools in good repair* [end quote]

One thing I’ve noticed when speaking with Shoah survivors is that they mention that the objective of the camps was to break their faith in G-d. Even now, 60 years later, I see the scars in their faith.