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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
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The Ultimate Revenge for Holocaust Survivor: New Torah Scroll

Holocaust survivors have at least two ways to take revenge against the Nazis. One is to overcome the past and bring a new family into the world. The other is to donate a Torah. Marge Fettmen did both.

Holocaust survivor Marge Fettman sits next to Chabad scribe Rabbi Yochanan Nathan as he inscribed the closing verses of her Torah scroll with a quill pen and special kosher ink

Holocaust survivor Marge Fettman sits next to Chabad scribe Rabbi Yochanan Nathan as he inscribed the closing verses of her Torah scroll with a quill pen and special kosher ink
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Chabad.org

An 88-year-old survivor of the Auschwitz death camp has donated a new Torah scroll to the Lubavitch Chabad of Skokie, near Chicago, the ultimate revenge against the Nazis who tried to eradicate Jews and Judaism.

Her other revenge was to dwell in the future and present, instead of the past, and marry and bring more Jews into the world.

Marge Fettmen, her children and grandchildren attended a recent Torah dedication ceremony, in memory of her late husband Daniel, also a Holocaust survivor.

Fettman, known by the Nazis as prisoner No. 21880, told the Chabad website, “God gave me a good idea – to have a Torah written. It is our guide. I want the Torah to be used to teach people about Judaism.”

Fettman was living with her family in Romania in 1944 when the Nazis stormed into their town of Szaszregen and herded her and her relatives into a cattle car for Auschwitz.

“When we arrived, Dr. [Josef] Mengele stood there flicking his whip, sending some of us to the right and others to the left. I was separated from my family,” she told Chabad. “Since I had the snacks we had packed for the children, I was concerned that they would be hungry. I wanted to bolt to the other side to be with them, but Mengele saw and shouted at me in German, ‘Are you a fool?’ I stayed where I was, and my life was spared.”

After surviving the death camp, she married her husband, and the couple moved to the United States in 1949, where they raised they raised their children in the Jewish tradition. Her husband, a grocery store owner, died in 2004 at the age of 83.

Her parents were very religious, and she decided that dedicating a new Torah scroll was the best way to remember them forever.

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16 Responses to “The Ultimate Revenge for Holocaust Survivor: New Torah Scroll”

  1. Diane Britson says:

    An amazing life story!!!

  2. Lauren Levinson says:

    Strength, tenacity, love, and perseverance!!!

  3. David Kieserman says:

    wonderful tale of survival. I wonder how this group of Jewish people vote in the US. for the democrats? or the republicans. I wonder how or if they see and comparisons in the USA with the life under the Nazis in 1944? Interesting questions.

  4. May G-D bless this family!!
    I am not religious, but I am a proud JEW!!

  5. DaveLobell says:

    Baruch Hashem- blessed is the holy one’s name for he is loving and all merciful G-d who words ring true throughtout the ages and we see this in the unfolding of history right before our very eyes.  How much more meaning these words must have for this righteous and holy woman, may Hashem always bless her and her entire family.    Isaaih 54:4 Fear not , for you will not be shamed, do not feel humilated, for you will not be disgraced for you will forget the shame of your youth and willno longer recall the disgrace of your widowhood, For you’re master is your maker, HASHEM, Master of Legions, is his Holy name, your redemer is the Holy one of Isreal; God of all the World will he be called, For like a wife who  had been foresaken and melancholy has Hashem called you, and like a wife of one’s youth who had become despised, said your G-d.  But for a brief moment have I foresaken you, and with abundant will I gather you in, With slight wrath have I concealed My countenace from you for a moment, but with eternal kindness shall I show you mercy, Said you redemer Hashem.

  6. nnothing wrong with dedicating a Torah scroll, may the Lord G-d bless her.

  7. Douglas Mills says:

    God's strength.

  8. Good for her, for her courage and the mitzah of the giving of the torah!

  9. where are those Nazis now…dead and gone…just a part of history…the same history that tells that the Jews were there before and after, now the State of Israel is a proud nation and Judaism keeps on going…because we have a secret weapon, better than any other…we have G-d…our L-rd and we are with Him and He is with us….ERETZ ISRAEL/AM ISRAEL…Sepharad para siempre!

  10. CpaHoffman says:

    It’s a big mitzvah to dedicate and pay for a sefer torah.
    But to suggest for one moment that it can make up for or get even for even one life, let alone for 6 million slaughtered Jews, is sophistry in the extreme and an act of self-serving propaganda that should be called out for what it is.
    And there are a lot more worthy uses for money in the world of Jewish life than dedicating more and more sifrei torah while day schools turn away kids whose parents can’t pay tuition.

  11. It's a big mitzvah to dedicate and pay for a sefer torah. But to suggest for one moment that it can make up for or get even for even one life, let alone for 6 million slaughtered Jews, is sophistry in the extreme and an act of self-serving propaganda that should be called out for what it is. And there are a lot more worthy uses for money in the world of Jewish life than dedicating more and more sifrei torah while day schools turn away kids whose parents can't pay tuition.

  12. The only way to avenge is to settle in Israel.
    Getting married outside of Israel isi a 70% chance of future assimilation.

  13. DaveLobell says:

    In Reply to Mr. HoffmanCPA who has been complelled to criticize this beautiful article on that basis that is a blatant form of proganda whose main purpose is to secure future sefer Torah donations .  Mr Hoiffman goes on to stsate that there are far more pressing needs that require our charitable contributions.  I will refrain from being critical of my fellow Jew and simply state to Mr. Hoffman that you completely missed the spirit and intention of the writer, who sought to highlight the fact that this wonderfully righteous woman survived and outlived her tormentors who sought to permantly eliminated all traces of Judaism in the world.
    She remained completely religous throughout the ordeal of being a prisoner in a concertration camp which killed several members of her family.  Mr. Hoffman she survived it and because of Jews like her Hashem blessed be his name sustains  world we live in.  Moreover, to dedicate a Sefer Torah is tantamount to spreading the word of G-d for future generations.  What greater sense of revenge could one have than to suceed at propering and surviving the overpowering efforts of the Nazis effort to eradicated Judaism by way of extinction?  Mr.hoffman with all due respect I urge you to rethink your position.

  14. ChHoffman says:

    DaveLobell as I said before
    it’s a mitzvah to dedicate a sefer torah
    it’s a far greater one to make sure that Torah is studied rather than locked away in the closet with a dozen others

  15. Dave Lobell says:

    In Reply to Mr. Charles Hoffman I do understand your concern for the kids who are being turned away for lack of tuition at some Hebrew Day schools, however our efforts are much better spent urging Education Officials to offer vouchers for Jewish Children who can attend a Hebrew Day School and then have to pay only a fraction of the tuition that is not covered by the vouchers.

    Mr. Hoffman it's also a Mitzvah to support our Fellow Jews and congratulate and appluad them when they do something good and noteworhty. Besides who is so righteous among us that they can dictate where we send our Tzedakah?

  16. Chaim Szmidt says:


    Nothing we humans do can bring back those 6 million. The older siblings I was never privileged to meet, my grandparents that never held me, my uncles and aunts whom I only heard of through my parents are among those martyrs. They were murdered by the Nazi hordes merely because they were Jews, what made them Jews, aside from accidents of birth? The Torah, the Jewish traditions they followed. Whether you understand Judaism or not, dedicating a Sefer Torah IS and act of defiance against the murderers, the ultimate revenge!

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