Sam Biegun

"I wish that the Holocaust never had happened. No one should ever go through what we went through."

Name at birth
Shmuel Biegun
Date of birth
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Pinsk, Poland (now Belarus)
Name of father, occupation
Michael, Fine carpenter
Maiden name of mother, occupation
Devorah Rochel Kaplan, Homemaker
Immediate family (names, birth order)
Parents and three children: Eliyahu, Leah and Samuel
How many in entire extended family?
Who survived the Holocaust?
Parents, the three children, an uncle and his family, a cousin, maternal grandmother and paternal grandfather
When the Russians occupied Pinsk, they deported my immediate family to Siberia because we had a cousin who was accused of being an anti-Communist.  From Siberia, my father wrote a letter to an official in the Russian government who allowed us to return to Pinsk.  However, we had no money to buy train tickets.  My father then wrote home for the family to send us money but by then World War II had broken out. We were trapped and had to remain in northern Kazakhstan which is Siberia.  We later learned that our entire family back home in Pinsk all perished in the Holocaust. 

After the war, we went to Shtetin, Poland, we did not return to Pinsk because everything was burned down.   It was dangerous to be in Poland because of anti-Semitism.  We smuggled across the border to Germany and went to live a Displaced Persons’ (DP) camp in Berlin.  I went to school there.  We left in 1948 because of the Russian Blockade of Berlin.  We flew to Frankfurt and from there went by train to Schwäbisch Hall in western Germany.  We were there till 1949 and then Marseilles, France to Israel.  I was with my parents.  My brother and sister were already living in Israel.  

In 1950, I went into the Israeli army and was there for two years.  In 1954, I married Miriam Rozwaski.  Being in the Reserves, I fought in the Sinai Campaign in 1956.  My parents and my brother passed away in Israel.  My sister lives in Kfar Saba, Israel.

In 1959, my wife, our baby daughter Batya and I moved to Winnipeg, Manitoba to be with my wife’s sister and brother.  We all later moved to Windsor.
Where were you in the Former Soviet Union?
Northern Kazakhstan, Siberia
What DP Camp were you after the war?
Yes, in Berlin
Where did you go after being liberated?
Shtetin, Poland; then DP camp in Berlin; Frankfurt; Western Germany; Marseilles, France; and to Israel
When did you come to the United States?
1959 to Winnipeg, Manitoba; then Windsor
How is it that you came to Michigan?
For work in September, 1969
Occupation after the war
Miriam Rozwaski Biegun
Batya and Lisa
Two: Zachary and Rachel
What do you think helped you to survive?
I was lucky, I guess. We were fortunate to be deported. I often ask why did I survive and the rest of the family not. I think I survived to tell the story about my survival.
What message would you like to leave for future generations?
I wish that the Holocaust never had happened. No one should ever go through what we went through.
Charles Silow
Interview date:

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