The story of the heroism of Shmuel Sukkah

"I Survived to Tell" Samuel Sukkah - The Story of a Hero

Shmuel Sukkah, from a child who managed to overcome the unbelievable, to a Jewish soldier in the Israeli wars, to starting a glorious family in the State of Israel - a hero and inspiration!

Samuel was born in 1931 in the town of Berezne (in the Vohlin district of eastern Poland, to his father Nathan and his mother Janeta. Samuel had one and only sister named Batya (Buza) who was five years younger than him and whom he loved very much.

When the Germans invaded eastern Poland in June 1941 he was 10. Samuel's parents wanted to take care of Samuel as much as possible, thus sending him to live and work with a local farmer named Soltus, who lived in the village of Kurgani outside the town. The farmer who has trade relations with Nathan, Samuel's father. Little Batya stayed with his parents. .

On April 25, 1942, the Germans and their Ukrainian aides led to the extermination of the Jews of Brenze, thus the actions of Natan Vinta (consent to send Samuel into the unknown, consent not trivial to a parent at all) actually led to saving Samuel's life.


The period became more difficult, and a hunt was declared for the Jews, Solts agreed to host Samuel as much as he could, but at some point the fear for Solts' family life increased. Solts asked Samuel to leave.  

The 11-year-old Shmuel moved to live in the forest where he hid from the Germans and especially from the Ukrainian collaborators. He moves from place to place at first alone, feeding on the flora and fauna of the forest, and at times the donations of kind-hearted peasants and the theft of resourceful food. There were cases where he had to deal with predators in the forest and with human animals in the form of antisemitic Ukrainian peasants who tried to capture him in order to kill him or to hand him over to the Germans. After a while he joined groups of Jews hiding in the woods, life in the forest was not easy at all, an 11-year-old boy we were afraid to send to school alone, living in the woods, dealing with hunger, cold, evil seekers, and yet continuing the personal struggle for survival And my daily group, and so it was until the liberation of the area by the 13th Army of the Red Army in January 1944 - a year and a half that seemed like eternal life to Samuel - and for our part seem like a whole journey of heroism and overcoming - inspiration!

At the end of World War II Samuel did not reach the Garden of Roses, again went through a lot of hardships across Europe with Israel always before his eyes, from Ukraine, through Poland, the DP camps in Germany and finally arrived in France, where he stayed until 1946 with a group of Holocaust survivors. The illegal immigrants, the "anonymous illegal immigrant" in an attempt to reach Israel. The ship was captured by the British and its illegal immigrants became prisoners in the detention camp for Jewish refugees in Cyprus.

As a minor, he was released from Cyprus after about seven months in prison, and in the same year, when he was about 15, he arrived in Israel and was sent to Kibbutz Galil Yam near Ramat Hasharon as part of a youth group of "Holocaust graduates". There he was part of a community that built the Land of Israel, in action and with his feet and hands - the builders of the land.

In 1947, after about eight months in the kibbutz, and at the beginning of the War of Independence at the age of 16, he enlisted in Company C of the Fourth Battalion of the Palmach - the "Burglars" Battalion - and participated as a fighter in all battalions of the battalion. The Egyptian in the south. In all the battles he excelled in his courage and determination. In 1949, at the end of the war, he was discharged from regular military service when he was 18. Later he participated in a reserve soldier in the Holy War, the Six Day War and the Yom Kippur War. Played a key role in preserving the infinite fabric of the Jewish people

In 1949 he joined some of his Palmach members in Kibbutz Mashabei Sadeh, where they took care of the Negev and a vibrant community life. Shmuel lived there as a member of the kibbutz until 1960. ".

In 1959 he welcomed a member of Kibbutz Shamir, whom he met when he was a counselor in the Ha - No'ar Ha - Oved youth movement. In 1960, they moved to Kibbutz Shamir, where they established their home and where their three children were born and raised: Livia, Natan and Yochai. Shmuel worked in the kibbutz orchards, was a journalist at the Atim Agency and the Al Hamishmar newspaper, was in charge of the kibbutz's animal corner, served as the yard of the orphanages and more. In addition, he testified extensively about his experiences in the Holocaust to various audiences around the country, from children to retirees.

Samuel is an inspiration to children, teenagers and adults in demonstrating the human spirit that knew how to overcome the worst obstacles and dangers and survive. He is also inspired by the fact that he succeeds in conveying the memory of the Holocaust in a unique way that connects us all to the memory and heritage of heroism and the overcoming of the Holocaust.

Samuel and Bracha have three children, ten grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Shmuel is now a 91-year-old retiree but still as energetic and active as ever. He walks three miles every day on the treadmill at his house, collects and sells bottles, eats his wife Bracha, helps his grandchildren, writes poetry and spends time with his family. Despite the shadows of the Holocaust that are always present in his life and obscure them, he also knows how to enjoy life and always find the good in them.

Shmuel is a real inspiration - from a small child in the forests of Poland, to a fighter in the Israel Defense Forces, to starting a family for the glory of the State of Israel!

Shmuel's story is told in full in the book "I Survived to Tell" by Dr. Shai Efrat - for the purchase of the wonderful book detailed in Insights Feel free to enter the link.