Holocaust survivor Sami Steigmann speaks to OH students, inspiring them to stand up for what is right

Holocaust survivor Sami Steigmann responds to a question from OH sophomore Tyler Levin during an October 29 presentation.

Holocaust survivor Sami Steigmann responds to a question from OH sophomore Tyler Levin during an October 29 presentation.

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The Olympic Heights community had the privilege to hear Holocaust survivor Sam Steigmann’s remarkable story detailing his Holocaust experience and how that experience continues to impact his life. Steigmann spoke in the OH theater on the afternoon of October 29.

Through listening to Steigmann’s heart throbbing accounts the audience learned many things about not only his experiences but about the Holocaust in general that they might not have otherwise known.  

When Steigmann was first sent to the labor camps he was only one year old. Due to his being too young to work, the baby, who would later become the man he is today, was subjugated to horrific Nazi medical experimentation.  Although he does not know exactly what medical experiments were done to him, he still suffers from the effects as he continues to deal with chronic pain.  

Steigmann answered students’ questions about the experiments that were conducted on him by saying that he has learned to tolerate the excruciating pain and has remained determined to live his life to the fullest.

Steigmann also related how a German woman risked her own life to infiltrate the Nazi camp to give him milk as a baby when she saw that he was starving. He credits that woman for saving his life. He was very grateful for that woman, and still is to this day.  

Steigmann also spoke of when he visited Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial and museum, when it opened for Holocaust survivors and their family members and those who liberated the camps. He talked about how pleased he was to see that the Garden of the Righteous Among the Nations had a specific stone and tree for honoring the unknown heroes.  Because the women who saved him has an unknown identity she would be placed under this category. It makes Steigmann happy that the woman who saved his life is now being honored. 

OH junior Kelsey Altschul, who attended the presentation,  commented that “it was very eye-opening to hear from a Holocaust survivor” and that the “struggles he has gone thorugh give [her] hope for the future.”  

Jonathan Raffa, another OH junior who attended, found  Steigmann’s presentation “very educational and [Steigmann] put problems into perspective.” Raffa echoed Altschul’s sentiment that Steigmann gives him hope for a better future.  Both Altschul and Raffa were touched by Steigmann’s life. 

Steigmann’s life and what he has gone through left OH students with much to reflect on.  Whenever they stand up for someone they will remember the brave Holocaust survivor that once stood in front of them and told his story of what happened when no one stood up for him. 

His story left the students with the passion to do something good in the world.  is a valiant and influential person that stands up for what he believes in. By telling his story about the Holocaust and how it impacted him and the rest of the world, Steigmann has influenced many teens to stand up for what they believe in.

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