Samuel Horwitz (born 1907) was married to a German Catholic, Maria née Samann. In 1938, their son Erwin-Paul was born. The family lived in Amsterdam. In November 1940, a few months after the Germans occupied Holland, Samuel was fired from his position at the bank, and started to work in the migration and finance departments of the Joodse Raad (the Dutch Judenrat).
In June 1942, the deportation of the Jews of Holland to Auschwitz began. As a member of the Underground, Samuel arranged hiding places for Jews. Amongst others, he helped his nephew, Meir-Max Horwitz to find shelter.
On 28 December 1943, Samuel was arrested and detained in a holding cell.
On 24 March 1944, Samuel was taken to the Westerbork transit camp, where he was incarcerated in Barrack 67, the punishment block. On 5 April, he was deported to Auschwitz, where he passed the selection and became prisoner number 179919A. The last camp document mentioning Samuel is dated 6 October 1944, referring to the Männerlager (men’s camp).
On 18 January 1945, Samuel was sent out on a death march with other Auschwitz inmates. The prisoners received a piece of bread, one tin of food for every four men, and a blanket. Thus equipped, they were forced to march dozens of kilometers in the biting cold, wearing rags and tramping through the thick snow in wooden clogs.
Utterly exhausted and ridden with dysentery, the prisoners ate handfuls of snow to assuage their hunger. Prisoners who slowed down were shot by the SS. On 22 January, the prisoners approached a forest close to the villages of Malin and Rybnik. As they entered the forest, the guards opened fire, yelling that partisans were attacking the convoy. The dead and wounded were strewn in all directions. Locals used wagons to carry 43 of the corpses to the cemetery in Książenice. Samuel Horwitz was among the murdered.
Samuel’s wife Maria and his son Erwin-Paul survived.
Samuel’s nephew Meir was sheltered by the Catholic Paulusma family in south-eastern Holland during the war. The family was later recognized as “Righteous Among the Nations” by Yad Vashem. Meir’s parents were murdered in the Holocaust. In 1948, Meir immigrated to Israel.