Sally Feldman was born Sura Herzsenfus on March 15, 1926, to Haskiel and Rucha Laja Feldman in Skarzysko, Poland. Named after her grandmother, Sura Puzanter Feldman, she was the youngest of five children. She had two brothers, Mendel and Aron, and two sisters, Hudas and Ester. They lived on Pisdiskiego Street in a three-story house. Her parents owned two grocery stores, one in Skarzysko Kamiena and the other in Skarzykso Koscielne.
Sura attended Polish elementary school until she completed sixth grade. By then the Nazis had invaded Poland, and Jews were forbidden to attend school. She had excelled in math. Sura attended many celebrations at their synagogue with her large family, as her mother was one of nine children.
On May 5th, 1941, the Nazis established a ghetto in Skarzysko. Conditions there were not good, but at least the family was all together. Sura was forced to work in the HASAG Ammunition Factory. One day, the Nazis did not let her return to her family in the ghetto, but made her live in the brutal forced labor camp built near the HASAG Ammunition Factory in Skarzykso. Working twelve hour shifts with little food and drink, Sura, now 16, lived in barracks surrounded by barbed wire. The bunk beds had three wooden boards to sleep on. She shared a bed with her first cousin Sura Feldman. Of the 30,000 Jews forced to toil at HASAG, 23,000 perished. Later, in 1944, Sura was transferred to the HASAG camp in Czestochowa where she continued to be imprisoned until her liberation by the Russian Army in January 1945.
Returning to Skarzysko, she discovered that her parents and siblings had all been murdered; they were most likely deported to Treblinka after the ghetto was liquidated. Her brother Mendel, also a prisoner at HASAG, had escaped but it is thought that he was also sent to Treblinka. Sura survived HASAG with three first cousins - Sura, Ester and Chil Feldman. Still facing pogroms and violence from their Polish neighbors, Sura and Srulek both left Skarzysko and made their way to Feldafing Displaced Persons Camp in Germany. By June 1945, they were engaged and, on October 21, 1945, they were married by three rabbis at the DP Camp, followed by a joyous celebration that included dancing.
The couple later moved to Stuttgart, Germany, where their son Sammy, originally named Szyja Haskeil after their fathers, was born. The three remained in Stuttgart until 1949 when they were able to gain passage to the United States on the USS Marine Flasher. They chose to settle in Rochester, NY where their friends lived. The couple had two additional children, Irving and Rochelle, and built their home in Irondequoit. Later Sura, now Sally, worked at Bausch and Lomb for five years before joining her husband in their fish market.
Sally had the biggest heart and was always cooking for people and helping them in whatever way she could. She was an honest person who loved her family above all.
Sadly, Sally died at an early age from lung cancer. She had never smoked a cigarette in her life, but working without protective clothing her forced exposure to the dangerous chemicals at the HASAG Ammunition Factory may have caused her cancer.
Biography written by Stacey Feldman Saiontz, Granddaughter