Bio of Samuel Fischer and Related Historic Documents

Hebrew Obituary for Retired Israeli Defense Forces Captain Shmuel Reshef (grandson of Samuel Fischer)

Translation is as follows:

Retired Captain Shmuel Reshef was born in Satmar that was in Romania and he moved with his family to Israel in 1959. He was the oldest in the first cycle of Bnai Akiva Yeshiva students and in 1965 he enlisted with the army as an artilleryman. He completed the entire track of artilleryman from a simple artilleryman to the chief artillery officer. In the six-day war he fought in Kalkiliyah and in the War of Attrition he was the Battery Commander (Major) of the 334th battalion. He fought in Lebanon, on the corner of the Jordan, and went to the Suez Canal. “The enemy can taste our mortar” he said to his retired Captain Uri Manos, in an interview for his book, “Tamid Tutchan.” (Always an Artilleryman)
On the evening of the Yom Kippur war he went up as the Deputy Commander of the 334th battalion  to the Golan Heights. “I bless myself on my good fortune,” said the infantryman vice-commander Aryeh Shechem (Schawrtz) (for having Reshef as his commanding officer). When they defeated the Syrians the infantry – as was the custom in those days – assisted with the officers of the artillery brigade. Of that division and these men Reshef continued to lead the infantry in battle from beginning until the destruction [of the enemy], until they swallowed up Syria. The brigade suffered the death of 11 soldiers that resulted from the explosion of a mortar that followed one after the other. And even though the number of deaths was hard to handle Reshef lead the forces to execute the mission until it was finished. “The voice of silence communicates (sings) belief,” remembered captain Gid Lefber, who served under him.
In this Litani operation [the 1978 South Lebanon conflict named Operation Litani], he was already the Battalion Commander of the brigade. “Couragesness, meticulousness, he expected from himself and others, he worried about his soldiers,” said retired Colonel Yehuda Siman-Tov. He would say that Reshef was tough on himself, he executed on himself a punishment, not to gain respect from the brigade, but at the end of the week they took him to his house and he got the private respect of his wife, Daniella.
One of his important roles was in the school “לתותחנית בשבטה” there they passed through the stress of being picked for service, he engrained in them the means of the path of service in the “reserves.” From college to national security (job) – as was at every stage of his life – he realized the value of his friends from the 12 year cycle – even gained their admiration. “He was the combination of the ruler of Hungary and a gentleman of England,” said the words of retired Captain Yoel Meir. In 2008 they established him as the “Friends for the Company” – an organization to support Sderot, in the spirit of “A man to his friend he helps and his brothers say stay strong.” [a verse in the Torah].
As Chief Artillery Officer he led the army forward, and changed to “an air soldier of the land,” said Eival Giladi. When he left the army he worked in “Rafael” [Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd – The Israeli Authority for the Development of Armaments] and afterwards managed “Shayesh Tabor” [the name of a business]. “He worked with vigor from high-tech to low-tech,” said Mor. “All that you learn in the army you must think about (learn from),” he said in an interview to Manos. “From the first of the month, you must pay your workers.” 10 years he managed a candy factory in Israel, until it was sold to private businessmen. The chief artillery officer that served after him, Avraham Bar-David, that established an artillery station in Zichron Yaakov with him, said without his determination there would never had been such a project in the world.
 Reshef leaves behind his wife, Daniella, and his children: Captain Aviv Reshef, Binyamin, and Urit, a judge who served in the artillery. In his last interview while fighting cancer, he said: “We have complained enough. Now is the time to talk about the responsibility we have in our lives.”        
         Reported by Prof. Shmarya Talmon. Cited from the blog of Aryeh Amichai without specifying the source. On this it is said: ________

Identifer: CJF-2013006


Israel Defense Forces; Rabbi in the Synagogue; Jewish Learning & Halacha (Jewish Law)

Samuel Fischer was married in 1913 to Pesi.  Samuel and Pesi lived in the Transylvanian city of Satmar (Szatmar), then located in Romania (at various time, Satmar was considered part of Hungary and Romania).  They had eight children, including Irene and Alexander.  The Fischer’s owned two factories in Satmar.
Samuel Fischer was a great Torah scholar.  He received three separate Rabbinic ordinations, one from Yehuda Grunwald [see attached letter], who was the chief Rabbi of Szatmar from 1897 until 1920, one from the Pressburg Yeshiva [see attached letter] and one from the Matisberg Yeshiva [see attached letter].
In 1927 – 1928, the Fischers had the opportunity to leave Romania for the United States.  Rabbi Samuel Fischer had been offered the position as the religious leader of Congregation Shaare Zedek Anshei Ungarn in Brooklyn, NY.  [see attached letter]  Samuel’s wife, who was very committed to living a life in accordance with the Torah, refused to take the family to the United States as she feared the extreme difficulty in living a Torah observant life in the United States at such time.
In March of 1944, the Nazis occupied Satmar and created a ghetto for the Jews to  live in.  One of the factories owned by the Fischers was located within the ghetto and the family moved into their uncle’s house which was attached to the factory.
When it became apparent that the Nazis were going to deport the Jews in the Satmar ghetto, Samuel Fischer broke the concrete floor in the basement of his factory and buried his atara as well as their Shabbat candlesticks and Hanukah Menorah.  His daughter, Irene kept him company while he buried these family heirlooms. 
On May 19th, the Fischers were deported from the Satmar Ghetto to Auschwitz.  They arrived four days later on May 23rd when they were promptly separated.  Both Samuel and Pesi Fischer were killed in Auschwitz along with four of their eight children.  Four children, Irene, Alexander, Dushi and Udu, survived Auschwitz, various work camps and the death march. 
Upon returning to Satmar, they discovered that their factory and the attached house had been taken over to become the German military headquarters for the region during 1944.  The allies had bombed the buildings and killed many Germans.
Irene Fischer remembered that her father had buried his atara, candlesticks and menorah and had her brother Alexander dig them up from under the basement floor.  Amazingly, none of them had been discovered by the Germans nor had they been damaged during the Allies’ bombing of the buildings. 
The family reopened the factory until the Communist government of Romania nationalized it and took ownership of the factory.  In 1956, there was a 3 day uprising against the Romanian communist government.  During those three days, the family fled to neighboring Hungary and then on to Austria.  Alexander and Dushi eventually settled in Israel and Irene and Udu moved to the United States.
The atara that had been buried during the war was taken to Israel by Alexander.  Alexander changed his last name upon arriving in Israel (as many Jews have done) from Fischer to Reshef.  Alexander had a son whom he named after his father, Samuel.  Samuel Reshef joined the Israeli military and rose in the ranks until he became captain.  Upon the death of Alexander, he gave his father’s atara to his son Samuel.  Upon the death in 2010 of Samuel Reshef,  [see attached obituary] the atara was passed on to Irene’s grandson, Ronald Wilheim, whose Hebrew name was Samuel, after his great-grandfather, Samuel Fischer.

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Samuel Fischer

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