Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Nathan, Bernard, and Samuel Offen - September 3, 1987


BO: And so I was talking in Yiddish and then Polish and then German. So one of the GIs recognized Polish so they got a couple of Polish-speaking GIs and they interpreted what I was saying and I told them that there was this uh, group of people in the barracks down the road and that they needed help. So they sent two GIs with me to show them where it was, but they couldnt get any help or supplies to them because of a blown bridge. Uh, so it was at least a couple of days before I uh, before they brought help. And I became a mascot for a, this tank unit, for a few weeks. And uh, it was kind of a long, drawn out story about the...

One of the liberators of Landsberg, there were six men assigned for Landsberg for a short time to, to organize the camp is the vice chancellor of this campus.

BO: Of this campus?


BO: Oh my goodness.

And was interviewed about two years ago. Not on videotape, but uh, it would be interesting to get the two of you together to see what you remember.

BO: There was a captain I remember that took pictures of me and I was scrawny. I was a scrawny guy. I was a skeleton. Walking x-ray. Uh, and I lost track and I thought I could, uh...

He wasnt a captain I dont think, but he was from New York and he was also Jewish. He managed to speak Yiddish to some of them.

BO: So that's...

NO: I know there was somebody, somebody when I was liberated that took a picture of me and he said, I think he was a lieutenant or something from Brooklyn and he spoke Yiddish and he took, he took some pictures I remember. Thats all I remember.

I know your stories go on.

BO: Um, they sure do.

You didnt just meet, you didnt, you didn't go to him and he didnt come to you? Didnt you cross at one point? Werent you on the way to them and they were on the way to you?

BO: Oh, you mean when I searched for them? Yeah. Uh, well, after liberation by the Americans uh, within a couple of months after I got restored to health a little uh, a little bit, I started uh, I was wondering if uh, any of my family survived. So uh, I was living in Munich already and I remember a man in my room was reading a uh, loose-leaf book, kind of a folder whatever it was, and he said it was the names of survivors. I remember tearing it out of his hands and then looking it up under the letter O and see, to see if they survived. If any of my family survived. And I found Nats name and Sams name. And so I started uh, searching for them. It said that they were in uh, in Austria, in Linz. So uh, no, Salzberg, Salzberg. And uh, it was that evening that I uh, went to the freight yards. There were no regular trains but there some trains starting to run already and I hopped on a coal train and uh, got to Salzberg, and to the camp that they were, refugee camp that they were supposed to be in. And they were not. They were there, and they said, "well, they left for Italy."

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