Sam's Odyssey - A TRUE STORY
as told to Steve Paulsson by Sam Pacht

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Click to download the complete story in a PDF file format.

Sam Pacht asked me to write this book so that his family and his descendants might know his story. But Sam's story is more than the story of one man, and more than a story for one family. It is a priceless historical document.

The Shoal-i is the greatest of the many tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people. We are a people of books and of memory; our books are many, and our memory is long. We remember our slavery in Egypt, 3,000 years ago, and we celebrate our miraculous escape in the Haggadah. Every year on Shabat Zakhor, the Sabbath of Remembrance, we recite the Parashat Zaklior: "Remember what Amalek did to you on your way out of Egypt!" And now, every year on Yom Hashoah, we remember what Hitler did to us and to our people in Europe. As the Nazis were taking him away into the unknown, the great Jewish historian Shimon Dubnov called out to his people: "S/ira/b un farshreib!" - write and record. And many Jews did write - not only historians, artists, rabbis and philosophers, but also ordinary men and women, some who lived through it, some who did not. Every record of that time is precious, and as time passes it will become more and more precious. An ever-dwindling number of Jews remember the Shoal-i as something that happened to them, to their families, and to their communities. For a larger number, it happened to their parents, or to their grandparents, or to their families in Europe. It is still preserved in living memory and is passed on from generation to generation; it is still a familiar story. But as time goes on, the living memory will fade away, as memory does, or else it will become transformed into myth and legend - for that is the way of memory, as it passes from mouth to mouth, and changes in the telling.

Copyright 2010 Sam Pacht.
All rights reserved.

No part of this publication may be reproduced
or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or
mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or in any
information storage or retrieval system, without permission in
writing from the publisher.

Published in 2010 by Steve Paulsson