Assemblymember Chris Holden Honors Holocaust Survivor Sam Langholz on Assembly Floor

Monday, May 16, 2016

Sacramento, CA – In observance of Holocaust Memorial Day on May 16th, Assemblymember Chris Holden (AD – 41) recognized Holocaust survivor Sam Langholz of Pasadena on the Assembly Floor. May 16th marks the 71st Anniversary of the Holocaust – the systematic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.

“It is important that we honor and remember survivors like Sam Langholz,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden. “His story teaches us about the gross atrocities and denial of basic human rights committed by perpetrators of evil, but also that of survival, healing, and the birth of a nation.”

Sam Langholz was born in the small village of Tluste, Poland, home to Jews, Poles, and Ukrainians at the time. In 1941, Tluste was captured by the Hungarian army.  Homes were looted, and Jews murdered or forced into ghettos. The first major Aktion (deportation of Jews from ghettos to extermination camps) took place a few months later, and his family split up to hide hoping that someone would survive.

Langholz’s youngest brother and extended family members were discovered and sent to the crematoriums. A few months later, his mother and sister were killed after being forced to dig mass graves. At the end of the war, only Sam, his father, brother, two sisters, and a cousin survived.

Langholz immigrated to New York in 1951. After taking a train across the country, Sam arrived in Pasadena and remembers being immediately struck by the natural beauty of the San Gabriel Mountains and the scent of the nearby orange groves. He met his wife, Mala (also a Holocaust survivor), on a blind date and they soon married. They raised their three children in Pasadena and now enjoy the company of their children and four grandchildren.

Langholz remembers the loss of family and the horror of his youth with clarity, but also remembers that his life since coming to the United States has been filled with love and joy—and for that he is grateful.