Show Less
Restricted access

Pilgrim to Unholy Places

Christians and Jews re-visit the Holocaust


Raymond Pelly

Based in New Zealand, the author, an Anglican priest, made a number of pilgrimages 1995–2008 to the extermination (and other camp) sites of the Third Reich, 1933–45. These find expression in Diary entries that describe the sites as they now are and scope the problems they raise for both Jews and Christians. 

The book thus places the Holocaust at the centre of Jewish-Christian dialogue. In face of the silence of God and the choiceless choices of the victims, the central question is how we – Jews and Christians – can talk agency either of God or the inmates. With a view to opening a conversation between Auschwitz and Golgotha, the author invites the Jewish interlocutor into a consideration of the Jewish victim Christ in the ‘no-way-out’ of the cross.

Can there then be mutual recognition between the many Jews of heroic faith and self-sacrificing love in the death camps and the victim caring Christ? Three examples are cited: a Mrs Levy at Auschwitz; the Paris Rabbi, Berek Kofman; and Janusz Korczak at Treblinka. These and others like them embody an ethic of caring that allow us to be hopeful about the modern world.

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

D. Learning from the Shoah


12. God as Co-Passionate

Abyss of Love, Victim-Survivor

I ended the chapter ‘Jewish Responses to the Holocaust’ by quoting from Melissa Raphael’s ‘The Female Face of God in Auschwitz’. My comment was:

In Raphael’s perception of the female face of God in Auschwitz we see, I dare to suggest, not only more of the face of the co-passionate God discernable in texts like Isaiah 63:9, but also the kind of co-passionate response this calls forth in people, women or men, in what she calls ‘the broken heart of Auschwitz’: the passion to suffer with others and, where possible, to care for them.

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.