There are uncanny parallels between the hanging of Haman’s 10 sons in the story of Purim and the hanging of 10 Nazis after the Nuremberg Trials for crimes against humanity.
The haunting connection between these two eras in Jewish history begins with a story from the Talmud in which it is explained that in the Purim story Haman’s daughter committed suicide and thus didn’t need to be hung. Similarly, following the Nuremberg Trials, Hermann Göring, a well known Nazi cross-dresser, also committed suicide and thus was not hung. In fact, Julius Streicher, the Nazi editor of the anti-Semitic Der Stürmer newspaper, even proclaimed before he was hung, “Purim Fest 1946.”
Indeed, given these facts, it appears as if there is merit to the claim that there is a connection between the Purim story and the Nuremberg Trials.
The Bible specifically states that Haman, the evil Persian Prime Minister who sought to annihilate the Jewish people, was an Agagite. Agag was the King of the Amalekites, implying that all ten sons of Haman were also part of the nation of Amalek. Interestingly, the great Torah sage the Vilna Gaon explained that the Germans are also descendants of the nation of Amelek. Simon Dubnow, Arthur Szyk and Raul Hilberg also identified the Nazis, who sought to eliminate the Jewish people, as being Amalekites. There are also Talmudic passages that mention a nation called Germania during the Roman Diaspora that seem prophetic in retrospect.
The numbers of people executed in both instances and the fact both the Nazis and Haman’s family were purportedly Amalekites are not the only similarities between the Purim story and the Nuremberg Trials.
According to Dr. Moshe Katz of the Hebrew University, “The ten sons of Haman had already been killed, why bother to hang them? In the writings of the Sages and the commentators, we find several ideas that could clarify this: On the word ‘tomorrow,’ in Esther’s request, the Sages comment: ‘There is a tomorrow that is now, and a tomorrow which is later.’ In other words, Esther was asking that the hanging of Haman’s ten sons not remain an isolated episode in history, but should recur in the future, as well.”
Fascinatingly, one finds in the Book of Esther that four of the Hebrew letters in Haman’s sons names utilize small instead of big characters. Jewish sages have taught throughout the generations that whenever there is a variation in the size of a letter or spelling of a word, it has a specific meaning. Thus, if these four small Hebrew letters are used to represent the Jewish number for recording years, it states the year 5707 on the Jewish calendar. 5707 was the year on the Jewish calendar that the 10 Nazi war criminals were hung for committing genocide against the Jewish people.
As Dr. Moshe Katz proclaimed, “Since the trial was conducted by a military tribunal, the sentence handed down should have been death by firing squad, or by electric chair as practiced in the U.S.A. However, the court specifically prescribed hanging, exactly as in Esther’s original request: ‘…let Haman’s ten sons be hanged.’ Though doubts may linger about the connection between the Book of Esther and the Nazi war criminals, the condemned Julius Streicher certainly had none. Through some insight, Streicher appears to have grasped this link to Purim, as revealed by his final shout, with the noose about his neck, mere seconds before he was hanged.”
By: Rachel Avraham