Bernard Offen

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Bernard Offen (born 17 April 1929) in Kraków, Poland is a Holocaust survivor. He survived the Kraków Ghetto and several Nazi concentration camps.

His parents, two brothers, and one sister lived in the Podgórze area of Kraków which in March 1941 became the Kraków Ghetto. His mother, Rochme Gittel Schiffer, and his sister Miriam were deported, probably to Belzec extermination camp, where they were murdered. Bernard survived the Nazi concentration camps of Płaszów, Julag, Mauthausen, Auschwitz-Birkenau, and Dachau. During this time he was separated first from his two brothers, Sam and Natan, and later also from his father who was murdered in Auschwitz-Birkenau. After the war, Bernard reunited with his two brothers.[1]

In 1951 the Offen brothers decided to emigrate to the United States. In 1981 Bernard returned to Poland for the first time since the war to confront the demons of his past. From 1991 on Bernard began to spend his summers in Kraków dealing with the past through what he calls the "process of healing". He started taking people on tours of the former ghetto, Płaszów and Auschwitz-Birkenau. His experiences Bernard documented in four movies.

Austrian Holocaust Memorial Servants (Gedenkdieners) serving their Memorial Service in Kraków cooperate frequently with Bernard Offen and take part in his walks to the ghetto area and Płaszów camp.


  • The Work (1983) [2]
  • My Hometown Concentration Camp (1997) [3]
  • Process B-7815 (1999) [4]
  • Hawaii and the Holocaust (2004)


  1. ^ Offen, Sam (2005). When hope prevails: the personal triumph of a Holocaust survivor. Livonia, MI: First Page Publications. ISBN 1-928623-58-1.
  2. ^ The Work. Dir. Bernard Offen. Perf. Bernard Offen. DVD., 1983. 37 minutes.
  3. ^ My Hometown Concentration Camp: Walk in the Krakow Ghetto and Plaszow Camp. Dir. Bernard Offen. Perf. Bernard Offen. DVD., 1997. 23 minutes.
  4. ^ Process B-7815: My Auschwitz Tattoo Number. Dirs. Bernard Offen, Hendrik John. Perf. Bernard Offen. Music. Herwig Strobl, Bernard Offen. Cinematography. Hendrik John. DVD., 1999. 99 minutes.

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