smile of life
This is a true story that was broadcast on Arutz Sheva Israel National Radio. It was told by Rabbi Yossi Sarid.
I heard a story from a man who was the lone survivor of an entire group during the Holocaust. He recounted how his group was made to stand in a line before alighting the train that would take them to the Auschwitz death camp.
A young German officer carefully looked them over, one by one, and when he reached this man, stared at him intently for a while, and ordered him to leave the line and stand by himself. The group was taken on the train to Auschwitz, and this man remained alone, shivering and frightened.
The Nazi then approached him and said, “Are you from such-and-such street in such-and-such town?” The Jew said yes, he was. The Nazi said, “When I was a boy, an orphan, I lived next door to you. And I remember that you were the only one who would greet me on the street with a smile and ask how I was. You — will live.”