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Walter Z. Holocaust testimony (HVT-1475) interviewed by Paula Scolnik and Katy Beliveau

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-1475

Videotape testimony of Walter Z., who was born in Český Těšín, Czechoslovakia in 1927. He recalls his father's local prominence; Polish annexation of the city in 1938; German invasion; his father's appointment as head of the Judenrat and working with Moshe Merin to smuggle children out of the area; deportation with his family in June 1941; removal from the train in Sosnowiec due to Merin's influence; his deportation to Sakrau a year later; a beating by Polish Jews for working too hard; transfer to Brande; a privileged position (about which he still feels guilty) due to his father's name; a whipping which he thought he would not survive; losing hope; transfer to Gräditz, Langenbielau, Klettendorf, Schmiedeberg, then Waldenberg; slave labor for I.G. Farben; becoming ill; help from a prisoner doctor; their guards leaving; liberation by Soviet troops; hearing his mother, sister, and cousin were in Langenbielau; their reunion; returning home; reunion with his father; learning most of their family had perished; smuggling himself to Paris; working in an OZE orphanage; and emigration to the United States to join an uncle in 1948. Mr. Z. discusses camp life; his education; conversion to Christianity; attending divinity school; and eventually returning to Judaism.

Author/Creator
Z., Walter, 1927-
Published
Auburn, Me. : Holocaust Human Rights Center of Maine, 1988
Interview Date
July 7, 1988.
Language
English
Copies
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Walter Z. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-1475). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.