Concentration Camp Survivors


Helen z”l

Helen was born in Romania, as Helen Safa. She remembers the Hungarian occupation and growth of antisemitism very clearly. Helen’s family was forced with all the other Jewish families in their community to move to a local ghetto, where they stayed for three to five weeks. Authorities then deported them to Auschwitz. Helen endured a months-long death march until she and her sister made a daring escape. Learn more and see a video interview with Helen >


Gloria z”l

Gloria was born in 1930 in Nagy Bereg, Czechoslovakia. On the last day of Passover in 1944, Gloria and her family were rounded up and brought to a brick factory which served as a ghetto. They were deported to Auschwitz three weeks later. In an astonishing escape, Gloria was able to jump off a truck which would have carried her to her death in the gas chamber. Subsequently, she was transferred to six additional camps and was finally rescued by the Swedish Red Cross. Learn more and see a video interview with Gloria >



Oskar was born in Cieszyn, a little town in Poland. He was 17 years old when the war started. This is when his struggle with survival and bearing witness began. He fled to Russia, sometimes supporting himself as a weaver, a blacksmith, or welder. He also studied the Russian language and became a Russian teacher. When he came to the United States, he attended medical school and became a physician. Learn more and see a video interview with Oskar >


Herman and Max 

Childhood friends Max D. and Herman S. were born in Berlin. They were taken to Sachsenhausen concentration camp and kept from 1939 to 1942, after which they were moved to Auschwitz. Max and Herman escaped from Auschwitz in 1944 with the help of Joseph Runner, a German engineer. They hid inside of a hole in a warehouse, then escaped at night walking 18 kilometers to Joseph’s house, where they hid for three and a half months. Learn more and see a video interview with Herman and Max >

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