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Holocaust Victim Survived 9 Death Camps and Lived to Celebrate His 100th Birthday in Israel


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It's not everyday someone turns 100 years old - especially a Holocaust survivor - but this week, Elias Feinzilberg celebrated his 100th birthday and his journey is inspiring.

Feinzilberg survived nine concentration camps including Auschwitz-Birkenau. He even survived a two-week death march by eating snow.

"I was saved.  God helped me. God helps me," Feinzilberg said.  "And I always ask Him for this."

Hoping to help his family when they were starving in the ghetto, Elias left to work for the Nazis. They promised him his family would be safe, but that's not what happened. All of his family including his six siblings died in the Holocaust.

"The Nazis killed all my family and I was left alone," said Feinzilberg.

Feinzilberg worked in the labor camps and prayed to stay alive, surviving daily on a bowl of soup and a piece of bread.

On May 1, 1945 the U.S. Army liberated Elias from the concentration camps. Soon, he volunteered in the kitchen of an American refugee camp helping to feed 12,000 survivors. There, he met his wife and they moved to Guatemala where they lived for 22 years.

In 1969, Elias and his wife immigrated to Israel. Today Elias has two sons, a daughter, seven grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.

"I'm very happy that I did one thing in my life.  I brought my family to Israel.  I love Israel very much.  Here, every stone is mine," he said.

Feinzilberg has inspired many people with his life and story. Some say his smile and joy for life are contagious.  


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