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Survivor of Holocaust uses story to educate

West Bloomfield man gives face, life to dark history

April 18, 2006

BY ALEX P. KELLOGG

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

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Offen holds a copy of a memoir about his Holocaust experience. The tattoo given to him in a concentration camp is visible on his wrist.

Sometimes he wakes from a nightmare in terror. More than 60 years later, the horrors of the Holocaust still haunt him.

“It was traumatic,” said Sam Offen, 84, who lives with his wife, Hyla, in West Bloomfield. “Little by little, I am accepting that I did lose my family.”

Part of the cathartic process began roughly 20 years ago, when Offen, at the request of the Holocaust Memorial Center, began speaking about his experiences to schools and civic groups.

On Monday, he spoke to about 100 seniors from Tecumseh High School, as well as a handful of visitors.