Steven Springfiels was born in 1923 in Riga. He was 18 when the Nazi Germany occupied Latvia. They confined the Jews to a ghetto. In late 1941, about 28,000 Jews from the ghetto were massacred at the Rumbula forest, near Riga. Steven and his brother were sent to the small ghetto for able-bodied men. In 1943 Steven was sent to the Kaiserwald. In 1944 he was transferred to Stutthof and forced to work in a shipbuilding firm. He had survived four years in Nazi camps, a year in a Soviet prison. As with most Riga Jews, his family and their things were turned to ash.
In 1947 S. Springfield migrated to the United States on March 10, 1947. He lived in Roslyn Heights, N.Y., helped to form the organization of Holocaust survivors (the Jewish Survivors of Latvia in the United States) and Latvian immigrants in the mid 1980s. In 1997 it included more than 400 families. In 1989 — nearly 45 years after the end of World War II — Steven Springfield and other survivors returned to Latvia to reconnect with the community and pay their respects to family members who had died. Steven Springfield, ex- President of the U.S. organization “Jewish Survivors of Latvia”, has been an associate of Latvia’s Commission of Historians since 2000, was a recipient of Latvia’s Three Star Order in 2002.