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Biography Summary

   Samuel Schwarz was born in Zgierz (Poland - Russia), January 31, 1880 - February 12, 1880 according to the schedule of Justinian - and died in Lisbon on June 10, 1953.

Samuel, the father wanted to see Rabbi in Berlin, traveled to 16 years to Paris, where he studied at National School of Decorative Arts, between 1896 and 1897, and entered the Ecole National Superieure Mines.

He earned a degree in mining engineering in 1904, aged 24. He lived and worked in Paris between 1896 and 1914, the city where he resided first at number 60 and number 17 later in the Rue des Ecoles. His occupation took him to several countries.

He worked as an engineer in oil fields in Baku (Caucasus - Russia), Azerbaijan, in coal mines of Sosnowiec (Poland), in England, and between 1907 and 1910 was in Spain, in the tin mines that the company had in Arnoya Mining Conso (province of Ourense). In 1911 he worked in a gold mine in Aldagna - Seia, Italy.

Contracted marriage to April 13, 1914 in Odessa, Ukraine, with Agatha, daughter of the banker Samuel Barbash.

Agatha was born April 15, 1884 in Tulchin, near Odessa, and died in Lisbon on August 4, 1950.

Samuel and Agatha traveled honeymoon to Portugal in the summer of 1914, having been established here as a result of outbreak of hostilities of World War I. Resided at number 19 from Town Hall Square in Lisbon.

Samuel began working as an engineer in 1915, a tungsten mine in Vilar Formoso and another tin-Belmonte, both belonging to the Mining and Metallurgical Society of tin and tungsten from the company Casteleiro.

He was president of the Polish Chamber of Commerce in Portugal since its founding in 1930 until the invasion of Poland by the USSR, a member of the Engineers, the Association of Portuguese Archaeologists, and President of General Assembly of the Jewish Community Lisbon.

Multilingual remarkable spoke Russian, English, Polish, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Hebrew, and "Yiddish."

In 1923 he purchased the old building of the Synagogue of Tomar, a property of the fifteenth century which carried out the excavation and cleaning, since the building was previously used as a prison and grain warehouse.

In 1939 the synagogue donated to the Portuguese State on condition that there be installed a museum. By decree of July 27 de1939, the museum was founded as "Hebrew Abraham Zacuto Luso Museum."

Samuel Schwarz obtained Portuguese nationality in 1939.

During the II World War II lost nearly all his family had remained in Poland. Much of it passed through the ghetto of Warsaw.

In November 1939, Samuel Salazar asked for a visa for his brother Alexander, who had taken refuge in Stockholm after having been arrested by the Soviets. The visa was refused but that did not stop Alexander and family come to Portugal in May 1940, among the Jews, whom the Portuguese diplomat Aristides de Sousa Mendes granted visas.

After the establishment of Israel in May 1948, Samuel published in the newspaper "Diario de Lisboa" on March 14, 1949, a text calling on the Government of Portugal to recognize the State of Israel.

Between 1923 and 1953 published, among other works: "Hebrew Inscriptions in Portugal" (in Archaeology and History, 1923), "New Christians in Portugal in the Twentieth Century" (1925), "Luso-Hebraic Museum Take" (1939), "Song of Songs" - translation of the Hebrew, (1942), "Anti-Semitism" (in collaboration with Leon Litwinski, 1944), and "Archaeology Mining" (booklet published by the Directorate General of Mines in 1936).

The book "New Christians in Portugal in the twentieth century" had a considerable impact on the Jewish community worldwide and been translated into English, Italian and Hebrew. In this book, Samuel Schwarz writes about New Christians Belmonte and tells how it was hard to earn your trust. Reports have found that women who were safeguarding traditions and knew by heart the prayers.

"Then we learned that it is mainly women, especially older women, who know by heart all the Jewish prayers and say, presiding at meetings and religious ceremonies. The poor creatures had never heard of the Hebrew language did not even know existed. "

Schwarz could only be admitted into the community of New Christians Belmonte when a new attempt to convince them about their origins, and that they were part of the Jewish people, when an elderly woman asked him to say a prayer in the language he claimed to be the Jews.

Samuel Schwarz Shemah Israel chose the prayer "Hear, O Israel." Each time he uttered the word "Adonai" ("Lord"), the women covered their eyes with their hands: when I finished - Schwarz writes - the old woman turned to those around her and announced in a tone of great authority: "It really Jewish because it said the name of Adonai. "

The Portuguese edition was reissued in 1993 by the Institute of Ethnology and Sociology of Religions, New University of Lisbon, and again in October 2010, published by Lark.

The new book was translated into Hebrew in 2005, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The French edition is in progress from a manuscript in French by Samuel Schwarz's own hand. The preface to the French version is authored by Israel Levi, chief rabbi of Paris.

Seeing and Believing in the magazine published "Zionism in the reign of John III, "" The Origin of the name and the legend of Prester John, "" Who were the messengers that D. John II sent in search of Prester John "(respectively in n. Paragraphs 11, 14 and 17 of 1946).

The Journal of the Lisbon City Council published "The Making of Lisbon," "The Synagogue of Alfama" (respectively No. 55 of 1952 and paragraph 56 of 1953). The "History of Modern Jewish Community of Lisbon" was published in the Institute of the University of Coimbra (paragraphs 119 and 120, 1957 and 1958).

Samuel Schwarz worked for several newspapers and has written several articles on topics relating to Judaism, especially in the "Journal of Commerce" and "Daily News". Regularly responded to anti-Semitic articles in the press, especially in the newspaper "The Voice."

During his stay in Spain published several articles in the Bulletin of the Galician Academy, and the magazine-Estafla Nueva Madrid.

On May 25, 1953, the town of Belmonte took the initiative to celebrate the work of Samuel Schwarz, and in January 2008, the Jewish Museum of Belmonte opened a room in his honor.

AAST / end