- Sam Bronner (born Szulim Bronner) is the son of Israel and Adela (Idell Orzekovski) Bronner. He was born April 25, 1921 in Bedzin, Poland, where his father was a shoemaker. He had five brothers: David, Moshe, his twin brother Avraham, Baruch, and Yankel (Jacob). The children attended a Jewish public school and belonged to the Hanoar Hatzioni Zionist youth movement. Soon after the start of World War II, Szulim was sent to a labor camp, having volunteered to take the place of his oldest brother, who was already married. Szulim spent about a year in the Klein Mangersdorf labor camp in Upper Silesia doing road construction, before being transferred to another camp in Ottmuth in 1941, and from there to the labor camp in Markstadt. In Markstadt he met his future wife, Hela Kolin. Szulim was working in kitchen and Hela was working in the tailor shop.
Hela Kolin is the daughter of Hersh and Leah Kolin. She was born January 21, 1927 in Warsaw and moved with her family to Olkusz in 1931, where her father owned a luggage factory. Hela had one older sister, Rachel. The family was modern but religiously observant. Hela attended both a Polish public school and a Beit Yaakov religious school for girls. During the German occupation the family was forced into the Olkusz ghetto. There, Hela worked as a seamstress in the sewing workshop until she was sent to the Markstadt labor camp in Lower Silesia.
After about a year in Marstadt, Hela and Szulim were separated. Szulim was transferred first to the Faulbrueck labor camp, and from there to the Gross Rosen concentration camp. He was ultimately liberated in Dachau. Hela was sent from Markstadt to the Peterswaldau labor camp, where she was liberated. Since no one else from her family had survived, Hela decided to join a kibbutz hachshara [Zionist collective] in Sosnowiec in preparation for immigration to Palestine. However, while she was there Szulim came looking for her. He convinced her to leave the kibbutz and accompany him to Germany. They settled in the Weiden DP camp, where they were married on January 21, 1946. From Weiden they made their way to Italy, where they remained until 1948, when they secured papers to immigrate to the United States. The couple settled in Brooklyn, where Szulim worked as a wood finisher and cabinet-maker. From Szulim's family, only his brother Moshe survived the war. None of Hela's immediate family survived.