Early Life

Samuel was born in Sadagora (then in Austria) on 30 May, 1897. His parents’ names were Joel ben Schmuel Schmatnik and Rosa (Gittel) Engler. His siblings were Rifka, Sabine, Sigmund, Jenny, Judah, and Mordechai Aron.

Samuel married Etel/Esther Blei/Bley in 1922 in Czernowitz. His profession was “frizer” or Barber.

Samuel and Etel are my paternal grandparents.She was also a hairdresser. She had a lot of stories for me about working in the movie business in Eastern Europe – she gave me a pink and gold teacup and saucer that she had been given by a film star. The teacup and saucer were painted with red roses. My dad once vacuumed my room as a kindness and accidentally broke them. I kept the saucer for years. They were relatively prosperous in prewar times – his wife and child would spend weeks in the summer at Black Sea resorts while he was a “grass widow” home in Cernauti.


Samuel appears on several holocaust databases. He is on a list of Jews recruited for “forced labor for the private sector” in Cernauti, 1942.

He also appears on a list of slave laborers during the time he lived in Balta/Transnistria ghettos. He lived in Israel with his family after the war. He and his wife planned to sail to the U.S. to join their son, in January, 1958. He had purchased a beautiful rose gold art deco necklace to give to my mom (and a similar yellow gold necklace for his wife).


Sadly, Samuel died of a heart attack in Italy, when he was en route to America. He was buried in Naples, in the Jewish section (Via Vecchia, Poggioreale 25, Napoli) 20-30 yards from the rear wall, under the name Samuel AlRoy.

I believe this to be the Cimitero di Poggioreale, the main cemetery of the city of Naples, and has a Jewish section. According to Italian Wikipedia, this was built in 1875 by Via Nuova Poggioreale.


Wartime Address: Str. Mihai Viteazu, nr. 18, now 18 Sadova Street, Chernivtsi. MAP

Samuel’s portfolio in the Israeli Archives