Advanced Search

Learn About The Holocaust

Special Collections

My Saved Research




Skip to main content

Walter P. Holocaust testimony (HVT-4456) interviewed by Betty Chrustowski and Steve Forst,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-4456

Videotape testimony of Walter P., who was born in Warsaw, Poland in approximately 1919, the oldest of five children. He recalls their abject poverty; apprenticing to a tailor at age ten; pervasive antisemitism; military draft in 1939; German invasion; desertion; local farmers saving him from Germans; traveling to Lublin; imprisonment; transfer to Majdanek; transfer a year and a half later to Birkenau; privileged jobs as a tailor, then a barber; realizing he could be killed at any moment; exchanging his yellow symbol for a red triangle, to which he attributes his survival; transfer to Majdanek; a death march to Dachau; transfer to Allach; choosing not to escape because he could not bring his future wife with him; a death march; escaping; encountering United States soldiers who gave them food; finding his future wife; marriage; emotional struggles due to his realization that his family were all killed and he had no home; becoming an alcoholic; his wife compelling him to stop drinking; establishing a business in Memmingen; his son's birth; emigration to the United States in 1949; and his daughter's birth. Mr. P. discusses wanting to “give up" being Jewish after the war to avoid suffering for him and his future children; his wife's early death; and his remarriage.

P., Walter, 1919?-
Milwaukee, Wis. : Generation After of Milwaukee, 1995
Interview Date
January 18, 1995.
Warsaw (Poland)
Lublin (Poland)
Memmingen (Germany)
2 copies: 3/4 in. master; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Walter P. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-4456). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.