Prisoner B-3087



Yanek Gruener - This is the main character who tells his story as if it were really happening, he is also known as Jakob and eventually Prisoner B-3087. He struggles to survive in a place and time where death is everywhere and it come to you at anytime. Yanek was scarred by the horrific things done to him by the Nazis. Also he was sent to ten different concentration camps most of which during 1945, and was on two death marches.

Amon Goeth - Is the ruthless camp commandant at Plaszow concentration camp. He can't eat even his breakfast without killing at least one Jew.

Isaac & Thomas - Were two younger kids that Yanek had met in the first concentration camp he was sent to, Plaszow. Isaac being around the age of twelve and Thomas being around the age of 8. Yanek, Isaac, and Thomas, hid under the floorboards of their barracks, but after Isaac and Thomas run into Amon Goeth you never hear from them again.

Uncle Moshe - Seemed like a rude old man in the ghetto, but later when Yanek finds him in Plazow he becomes his life saving mentor. If Yanek had never found Moshe he would have most likely died. Moshe was killed by Amon Goeth for no reason which left Yanek to be the last remaining member of his family.

Fred - When Yanek was eventually moved to Auschwitz he had made friends with one of the prisoners, Fred. He was about fifteen or sixteen, the same age as Yanek. Fred and Yanek always looked out for each other and became good friends. But Fred started to become sick and one morning could not work. Yanek tried to help him but the Nazis already had plans for Fred. The Nazis pushed him to the ground and beat him, cut him, and hung him in front of everyone and said,

"This is what happens when you don't work."

Yanek never made friends with another prisoner after that.


The story begins in 1939 in Krakow. The Nazis are all over Poland when ten year old Yanek and his family start to hear bombs explode. Then the Nazis turn their neighborhood into a ghetto. Three years later Yanek turns thirteen and he wants to have his barmitzvah, so in a secret his family plans to have a nighttime ceremony. Soon after, trucks arrive, and start taking families to concentration camps and death camps. Yanek is separated from his parents and ends up in his first concentration camp, Plaszow, where he is named Prisoner B-3087. He will survive ten different concentration camps before the war is ended.


  • Hometown/Ghetto
  • Plaszow
  • Nine other concentration camps
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Man Vs. Self: Yanek’s body struggles from the lack of food

Man Vs. Man: During Yaneks time in plaszow he meets the camp commandant Amon Goeth, the man who kills people just because he feels like it.

Man Vs. Society: In the beginning of the book Yanek lives in a neighborhood that becomes a ghetto. He has to now share his family's apartment with another family. When he is in Plaszow he has to hide his identity and feelings to survive.

Man Vs. Nature: In the ghetto during the winter Yanek and his father will be pulled over by the Nazi soldiers to shovel the streets