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Walter R. Holocaust testimony (HVT-3258) interviewed by Margalit Shlain and Edna Lewinger,

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-3258

Videotape testimony of Walter R., who was born in Vilna, Poland (presently Vilnius, Lithuania) in 1918. He recounts his family's orthodoxy; their move to Břeclav in 1922; participating in Hashomer Hatzair and Maccabi; boxing competitively; his father's death in 1935; working in Otrokovice; German occupation; anti-Jewish restrictions; moving to Napajedla; his brother and mother joining him; moving to Prešov, thinking he could pass as a non-Jew; capture in a round-up in 1939; forced labor in the Slovak army in Zvolen, Liptovský Mikuláš, Hronsek, Nováky, and elsewhere; release in 1942; joining a half-sister in Šaštín; capture by Hlinka guards; deportation two days later to Žilina, then Auschwitz/Birkenau; slave labor in Buna/Monowitz; reassignment to a privileged position in the Canada Kommando; seeing his brother; hospitalization; a friend warning him to leave before a selection; participating in a boxing match; a kapo preventing Germans from whipping him to death; digging sewage trenches; seeing his mother in 1944 (she was later killed); assignment as a handyman for an SS unit which provided him with extra food; public hangings; not believing he would survive; a death march; escaping with other prisoners; assistance from locals; traveling to Hulín, then Otrokovice; hiding with a family for two weeks; traveling to Vizovice; entering Slovakia illegally; traveling to Trenčín; obtaining false papers; joining the partisans; being sent to Bratislava; liberation by Soviet troops; returning to Břeclav; attacking Germans for revenge; a town official warning him to stop; returning to Bratislava; marriage to a survivor; reunion with his brother; his son's birth; emigration to Israel in 1949; and another son's birth. Mr. R. discusses many incidents and people from the camps; attributing his survival to luck and help from others; losing his religious beliefs, nightmares, and health problems resulting from his experiences; visiting Treblinka, Majdanek, and Auschwitz with a school class; and reunions with friends from Auschwitz.

R., Walter, 1918-
Tel Aviv, Israel : Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, 1991
Interview Date
September 3, 1991.
Vilnius (Lithuania)
Břeclav (Czech Republic)
Bratislava (Slovakia)
Otrokovice (Czech Republic)
Napajedla (Czech Republic)
Prešov (Slovakia)
Zvolen (Slovakia)
Liptovský Mikuláš (Slovakia)
Hronsek (Slovakia)
Šaštín (Slovakia)
Hulín (Czech Republic)
Vizovice (Czech Republic)
Trenčín (Slovakia)
2 copies: 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Walter R. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-3258). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-06-04 13:26:00
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