On Sunday, March 7, Seniors in MTA’s Names, Not Numbers elective course filmed the final interviews for their Holocaust documentary. They had the distinct privilege of interviewing survivors Sami Steigmann and Paula Weissman, and documenting their stories of survival.
Sami spent years in a labor camp in Ukraine with his parents, where he was subjected to medical experiments by the Nazis, the side effects of which he still feels every single day. They struggled to survive as they suffered through starvation and bitter cold winters. The camp was liberated by the Red Army and his family was deported to Transylvania. They eventually immigrated to Israel, where Sami served in the Israeli Air Force.
Paula was born in the Carpathian Mountains. She was just 13 years old when the Nazis invaded her town and loaded all of its Jews onto freight trains headed for Auschwitz. Paula was separated from her family upon arrival at the concentration camp during the selection process and never saw them again. Paula was sent on a labor detail to Hamburg, where she was forced to build homes for German families. Near the end of the war, she became ill and was sent to Bergen-Belsen, where she was liberated when the war ended. Seniors look forward to sharing more of their stories in the film to ensure that they are never forgotten.