Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Samuel Offen - December 27, 1981


An interview with Sam Offen, a Holocaust survivor, conducted by Dr. Sidney Bolkosky, Professor of History at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Sam Offen lived in Kraków, Poland. After the German invasion of 1939, Sam and his brothers, Nathan and Bernie, along with their father, were recruited by the Germans as forced laborers. Nathan was sent to a nearby rock quarry to work. In 1942, Sam's mother and sister were rounded-up and deported and the three brothers and their father were shipped to Płaszów. After a short time, the Offens were sent to Gusen I, a sub-camp of Mauthausen. There Sam and Nathan were separated from their father and Bernie. It was the last time Sam saw his father. In 1945, Sam and Nathan were liberated by the American Army. The brother's learned of a Polish Unit of the British Army, based in Italy and decided to join. While in a DP camp in Italy they discovered that Bernie was in a different DP camp and the brothers were reunited. After joining the army, Nathan and Sam were given the opportunity to move to Britain. Sam moved to the United States in 1951.

Link to Portraits of Honor Project

  1. Introduction
  2. Religious Life
  3. Relations with Non-Jews
  4. Politics
  5. Culture and Education
  6. Family
  7. Anti-Semitism
  8. Thoughts on Palestine
  9. Outbreak of War
  10. German Occupation
  11. German Occupation (Continued)
  12. Forced Labor
  13. Ghetto Adminstration
  14. Formation of Ghetto
  15. Conditions in Ghetto
  16. First Deportations
  17. Mother and Sister Deported
  18. Violence in Ghetto
  19. Deportation to Płaszów
  20. Płaszów
  21. Forced Labor in Płaszów
  22. Amon Goeth
  23. Executions in Płaszów
  24. Wielicka
  25. Transport to Mauthausen
  26. Talk of Resistance
  27. Arrival at Mauthausen
  28. Gusen
  29. Labor in Gusen
  30. Liberation
  31. Sanitary Conditions in Gusen
  32. DP Camp in Austria
  33. Italy
  34. Reunited with Younger Brother
  35. Immigration to America
  36. Reflections on Survival
  37. Family

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn