Sami Steigmann is a remarkable man, born in Czernovitz, Bukowina in 1939. He was taken into a forced labor camp with his parents in the Ukraine at Mogilev-Podolsky, a labor camp in an area called Transnistria.
The camp was liberated by the Red Army and his family was deported by the Romanians, not by the Germans. He grew up in Transylvania, in a small town called Reghin. He did not know the language.
In 1961, the whole family (his sister was born in 1946) emigrated to Israel. He served in the Israeli Air Force, not as a pilot. In 1968, without knowing the language and completely alone and with no money, Sami came to the United States. He lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin where he married, divorced and eventually, in 1983 returned to Israel. However, in 1988, he returned to the United States, choosing New York City as his final home.
As we went to write a letter in this Holy Torah, Sami asked that we write the letter “Shin”, in honor of his family name, and amazingly, it was the next letter waiting for us.