Your coverage about the late tzaddik Hagaon Harav Aharon Leib Shteinman, zt”l, was both incredible and informative. I would like to shed light on some information relating to Rav Shteinman’s years in the Schonberg working camps in Switzerland, approximately 1939–1942.
My father, Rabbi Pinchas Shulem Atlas, z”l, was together with Rav Shteinman and Harav Moshe Soloveitchik, zt”l. They used to learn while they were working. They learned baal peh the Tosafos of the yeshivishe masechtos like Bava Metzia, Yevamos, etc. Their job was to make roads. The hardest part was to get tremendous pipes rolling, and it was a hard feat to stop them. On Shabbos, two people pushed the pipe and one person would measure that it should be less than four amos so that it shouldn’t be considered a melachah d’Rabbanan. Since Rav Shteinman was slight in build, my father relieved him of some of his work. Both Rav Soloveitchik and Rav Shteinman wouldn’t allow my father to do everything!
In the working camp, if you were a witness at a wedding you were relieved from work that day (a day off). My father chose Rav Shteinman as an eid so that he could learn the rest of the day! In 1945, together with the Satmar Rebbe, zy”a, who was the sandak, Rav Shteinman also participated at the bris of my brother, Rabbi Shimon Atlas.
Years later, upon visiting Rav Shteinman, my son-in-law, Rav Efriam Pines, Maggid Shiur in Mir Yerushalayim, asked if he remembered someone named Reb Pinchas Shulem. Rav Shteinman responded: “I only know one Pinchas Shulem Atlas!”
Hatzlachah in your unbelievable coverage of Jewry’s news.
Mrs. Meyer Rosenbaum