Visit us At 5th and Market Streets on Independence Mall



It's Your Story

Admission

Members Free
Adults $12
Seniors (ages 65 & up) $11
Youth (ages 13-21) $11
Children (ages 12 & under) Free
Active military (with ID) Free*
 

Discounted admission rates are available to groups of 15 or more people. Group visits must be booked in advance through Group Sales to receive these discounts and other group options.  

 

*As a Blue Star Museum, we additionally offer free admission to up to 5 immediate family members (spouse or children) of active military personnel from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  

Our fathers’ rescue of 118 people from Russia

Eight years after he immigrated to the United States in 1913, and serving in the U.S. Navy, our father, Sam Sheinbach, returned to Europe intending to bring his parents and immediate family members to America. When he arrived at the family home in Bar, Ukraine, desperate neighbors and even strangers begged him to allow them to accompany him, although most had no funds for the journey.

By the time Sam crossed the Ukrainian border he was leading 116 people, and added two teenage cousins in Moldavia. Many had no papers and had to be smuggled across the border. False identities were created by taking names from gravestones of local cemeteries and bribing officials to prepare papers.

The group traveled for months across Europe while visas and various clearances were obtained. Eventually everyone reached ports of embarkation and ships to America.

Our father never spoke to us about his heroic exploit. By accident we found a Yiddish newspaper clipping in our home and he translated it for us in 1946, after World War II, when we were 14 and 15 years old. At the time we were living very modestly in a 3rd floor walk-up apartment on the Lower East Side of New York, and it was obvious our father had expended considerable sums of his own money to transport all these people.

We questioned whether these people had paid him back and he replied "Some did, most did not".

As teenagers we were angry but our Dad was very calm. "Aren't you angry, Dad?" we asked.

He replied "If not for what I did for those hundreds of people, and their subsequent offspring, most would probably be dead today. Why be angry over those people who promised to repay me and did not, when I can put my head down on the pillow every night and sleep soundly knowing I did the right thing."

Our Dad died in 1956. We, his sons, have tried to emulate his philosophy ever since we learned of his heroic action.

P.S. In 1983 we located the teenage cousin our Dad picked up in Moldova. She was living in New York and she was in her 80's. For hours she spoke of the "adventure," including traveling from city to city on many "cattle cars" that had been decked out by the group with blankets and picnic baskets, delays when our Father would not continue on because of a sick person, the near tragedy when our Father was pick-pocketed in the Hamburg train station attempting to have everyone board the train, and the recovery of the funds by a very large and strong member of the group, the loss of which would have left the entire group stranded with no funds. She was active in the art world and her husband had his paintings hung in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC. Other than close family members we had no further contact with other members of the group.