Shofar in Auschwitz – Did Take Place!

Shira Schmidt

Shira Leibowitz Schmidt was raised in an assimilated Jewish home in New York, and became observant while studying at Stanford University in California. In June 1967 she told her engineering school professor she would miss the final exam because she was going to Israel to volunteer during the Six Day War. “That’s the most original excuse I have ever been offered,” he responded. She arrived during the war and stayed, receiving her BSc in absentia. She subsequently met and married the late Elhanan Leibowitz, and they raised their six children in Beersheba. Mrs. Leibowitz acquired a Masters in Urban & Regional Planning from the Technion, and an MSc in Civil Engineering from University of Waterloo. Today she lives with her husband, Dr. Baruch Schmidt, in Netanya. She co-authored, with Nobel prize-winning chemist Roald Hoffmann, Old Wine New Flasks. She has co-translated from Hebrew to English (with Jessica Setbon) From the Depths (the autobiography of Rabbi Israel Meir Lau); The Forgotten Memoirs (memoirs of Rabbis who survived the Shoah, edited by Esther Farbstein); and Rest of the Dove (Parashat Hashavua by Rabbi Haim Sabato). She and her husband appear in the documentary film about the Sanz-Klausenberger Rebbe, “Hidden Face.” She is available to lecture in Israel and in the US and can be contacted via

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2 Responses

  1. Ada jacobowitz. says:

    Thank you Mrs. Schmidt for posting this moving and inspiring event erev Rosh Hashana. It must have meant a lot to those who were able to hear the shofar under such terrible circumstances.

  2. Shmuel says:

    Yasher ko’ach. Those skeptics would be well served to read Rabbi Eliezer Berkovitz’s “With God in Hell”, “Those Who Never Yielded” by Moshe Prager and Rav Oshry’s responsa from the Holocaust among many other testimonies that demonstrate the daily sanctification of God’s name that occurred in those times.

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