To die for Kiddush haShem

To die for Kiddush haShem

[Kiddush haShem means "for the santification of God's Name"]

As the commander of the Plaszow concentration camp took a number of young Gerrer Chassidim to be put to death, one of them, Israel Eisenberg, asked for permission to say a few words of farewell to his friends. I stood opposite them and heard every word. He did not speak many words. He said to his friends that they should rejoice, for they were going to die for Kiddush haShem, the sanctification of G-d's holy name. Kiddush haShem! He got hold of the hands of another young man and started singing. They were calling to each other: "Kiddush haShem.the most important thing.let us rejoice!" They all began to sing and to dance as if a fire had been lit within them. Their sidelocks, which were then hidden under their hats, they now pulled out and let them hang over their faces. They paid no attention to what was going on around them. They were dancing and singing. And I thought I would lose my

senses.that young people should go to their death as one goes to a dance! Thus dancing, they jumped into the pit as a rain of bullets was pouring down on them.


Eyewitness account from "With G-d in Hell" by Eliezer Berkovitz, p.112.