Sam Ringer

1918 1986
(Pologne) 1918 /   (France) 1986

Sam Ringer was the son of a dressmaker and a theater costume designer. He grew up in Oswiecim, which became Auschwitz under the German occupation. He was a skilled gymnast and was also gifted in mechanics; he made radio sets his entire life.

He was passionate about drawing from a young age. In 1937, despite the anti-Jewish segregation at that time, he enrolled in the School of Fine arts in Krakow. In 1939, he was awarded the first drawing prize. The German invasion forced him to stop his artistic studies.

In 1940, he was forced to work on the construction of the Auschwitz concentration camp. That same year, he was deported to Annaberg. He successively went to the Sacrau, Mechtal, Markstädt, Fünfteichen, Gross Rosen, Buchenwald, Berg and Elster camps.

Sam Ringer was finally liberated by the Russian army at the Theresienstadt camp in the fall of 1945. He was ill and was treated at a hospital in Litomerice, Czechoslovakia. He was later transferred to Krakow, where he was treated at a Jewish hospital. During his convalescence, he resumed his studies at the School of Fine Arts in Krakow. In 1946, he left Poland with the Kibbutz Nilli.

In 1947, he arrived in France and continued his studies at the Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts) in Paris for six years. He took Souverbie’s painting classes, Goerg’s engravings courses and studied lithography with his teacher Jaudon (he was awarded the first composition prize). In 1957, he married Jeanine Etlinger, whom he met at the Beaux-Arts in Paris. They had two children.