(CBS) — For more than half a century, he has been cutting hair on the North Side.
But Ben Scheinkopf’s story is much more than that. His is a story of survival, CBS 2’s Harry Porterfield reports.
He has been a barber in West Rodgers Park for more than 66 years. He was 30 years old when he opened his shop. He’ll tell you he learned hair-cutting by watching barbers in his hometown of Plonsk in Poland.
After the Holocaust swept through his town, only 30 people out of 6,000 survived. Scheinkopf and his siblings were sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. He was the only sibling to survive.
“It was a very miserable life. I never figured I would come out alive from it,” he says.
He weighed 60 pounds when American soldiers liberated him from captivity.
Michael Walsh represents a second generation of patrons who have made Scheinkopf their barber.
“My father was a longtime customer,” Walsh says. “He was just so thankful for waking up every morning.”
Scheinkopf and his wife are the parents of three sons. In October, he will be 96 years old. He says his doctor tells him to keep working.