Are the Holocaust Jews in Heaven?

I wasnt sure what section to put this under, so please move if needed:thumbsup:

I have been watching this series about Auschwitz for a class that I am taking. I know it is not possible to know who is in Heaven. But are the Jews who died in the Holocaust in Heaven for being martyrs even though they are not Christian? Does the Church have a position on this?

I pray they are.

very good question…

We can say with confidence that some, like St. Edith Stein, are in heaven.

For the rest, it all depends on the state of each of their souls at the hour of their death, which we don’t know. The fact that a person was tragically murdered does not change that.


And we can help by praying for them, as there is hope that some are in purgatory. However, it’s incorrect to call them martyrs; they were victims of genocide, mass murder.

I certainly pray they entered heaven at the time of their death. And if they are in Purgatory, let it be over for them. They suffered hell on earth, poor souls.

And let’s include the other millions who were also in the camps, tortured, and killed.

Yes it all depends on the state of their souls when they died. I mean, maybe they had the grace of God at their hour of death, and Christ was revealed to them?

We don’t know these things since it couldn’t possible have been recorded, unfortunately. I pray they are, but like always, GOD only knows.

The children must be since they couldn’t have been old enough to reject Jesus Christ.

This is what the Fourth Lateran Council (1215) declared “The universal Church of the faithful is one outside of which none is saved”

There were members of the universal Church of the faithful, which is one outside of which no one is saved, who were killed.

And so what are you trying to say? This concept has been discussed, discussed, discussed over and over again–on Catholic Answers Forums, yes, and for ages past. That one has to be a VISIBLE member of the Catholic Church to be saved is not the Church’s understanding.

Unlike many of the non-Catholic Christian churches, we can say that they at least have the opportunity to be in heaven. Catholic teaching says that anyone who sincerely seeks God, and tries their best to live His ways and through no fault of their own they do not know Christ or His Church, those too may be saved (paraphrased from CCC 847). I trust in the mercy of God more than anything; although I still have a hard time understanding why He permits such things as the holocaust. The Church doesn’t speculate on who is in heaven or hell, and we shouldn’t either. But I am confident that our merciful Lord would have revealed Himself to those who were dying, even if it was in the final moments of their lives. At any rate, Jesus Christ is the only way to the Father. Whoever is in heaven, it is because of Him.

Another applicable paragraph from the CCC that may help us understand the Jews relationship with the Church of God.

839 "Those who have not yet received the Gospel are related to the People of God in various ways."325

The relationship of the Church with the Jewish People. When she delves into her own mystery, the Church, the People of God in the New Covenant, discovers her link with the Jewish People,326 "the first to hear the Word of God."327 The Jewish faith, unlike other non-Christian religions, is already a response to God’s revelation in the Old Covenant. To the Jews “belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ”,328 "for the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable."329

840 And when one considers the future, God’s People of the Old Covenant and the new People of God tend towards similar goals: expectation of the coming (or the return) of the Messiah. But one awaits the return of the Messiah who died and rose from the dead and is recognized as Lord and Son of God; the other awaits the coming of a Messiah, whose features remain hidden till the end of time; and the latter waiting is accompanied by the drama of not knowing or of misunderstanding Christ Jesus.

I think a good argument could be made that many are martyrs who died for their belief in God. But I’m sure atheist Jews were also killed.

As another poster said, and I can only agree with, we should pray that they are, because God desires that all men be saved.

Yes but you have to understand what being inside the Catholic Church means.

  • Baptism is necessary for salvation (but does not ensure it as you need to die in a state of grace)
  • No salvation outside the Catholic Church.

How then can a person be baptised and Catholic?

  • Sacramental baptism as a Catholic
  • Baptism of blood (non-Catholic dying for the Catholic faith)
  • Baptism of desire - explicit (e.g. someone in RCIA)
  • Baptism of desire - implicit (invincible ignorance - someone who through no fault of their own does not know Christ, His Gospel, or His Church but in that ignorance lives a life according to Christ’s teachings).

Although we all have opinions, none of us actually know who is captured under invincible ignorance.

One thing that is clear is that anyone who consciously rejects Christ and his Church will not be saved.



CCC 1260 : “… Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.”

Yes indeed. It’s been discussed over and over and over, and over and over, over and over, and over again.

I think we ought not to derail the thread, and just keep it to the topic of the Jews who died in the Holocaust, and if they’re in Heaven or if they’re not. :slight_smile:

Your question is a non-sequitur. How do you know that any particular “Jew” who died in the Holocaust was, in fact, Jewish? It is de fide that “anyone whatsoever” can baptize (Lateran IV, Canon 1; CCC #1256); therefore, how could one ever “prove” that any particular “Jew” (or, for that matter, “Muslim,” “Buddhist,” etc.) was never baptized at some time during that person’s infancy? For an infant, a valid baptism is always a fruitful baptism, even if it is an illicit baptism, which means that such a child would be in a state of grace after receiving that Sacrament, as long as they received it before coming to the Age of Reason.

So, let’s say that Anne Frank was sacramentally baptized as an infant by someone, anyone. If she lived and ended her life without mortal sin, she would go to Heaven when she died, or at least Purgatory. And, even if she died with mortal sin on her soul, there’s always the “salutary repentance” option for her at “death’s door.”

Take your pick – you’re asking us “to prove a negative” here.

It is my understanding that there are those who go through “purgatory” here on earth through great sufferings (I believe I’ve read that on CAF). So if there were Jews who were saved would the Holocaust have been there purgatory?
I’ve also heard it said that the holocaust was a punishment for the Jews.

The answer is that we do not know. Only God knows.
We do know that anyone who consciously rejects Christ and his Church and dies unrepentant is not saved.

Vast majority of Jews in the last 100 years I’d say are well aware of the NT, of Jesus, and of Christianity. Them staying Jews is a rejection of Christ. So wouldn’t it stand that since they all rejected the outstretched hand of Jesus that they, most of them anyway, were not saved?

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