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Walter S. Holocaust testimony (HVT-146)

Oral History | Fortunoff Collection ID: HVT-146

Videotape testimony of Walter S., who was born in Steinbach, Germany in 1924. He recalls living in Mannheim from 1931 on; his strong sense of German identity; expulsion from school; attending Jewish school; Kristallnacht; learning his father was in Dachau; moving to a kibbutz near Berlin hoping to emigrate to Palestine; and Gestapo takeover of the kibbutz. Mr. S. describes extreme hunger while harvesting crops for the Germans; transfer to several camps; observing the bombing of Berlin; transport to Auschwitz; selection for work in Buna; being shaved and tattooed (#117,022); illness; transfer to the hospital; being saved by the head nurse who had led his Zionist group in Germany; hearing news from British POWs housed nearby; an escape attempt in December 1943 resulting in a public hanging; removing the bodies of the hanged prisoners; another escape attempt which he assisted (the escapees never betrayed him) resulting in hangings; evacuation in January 1945 to Buchenwald, then Altenburg; a female guard assisting escape in April; travel to Allied troops; interrogation by American troops to ascertain they were not Germans; discovering a mutual friend with the interrogator; and assisting the German guard who helped them. This insightful testimony includes Mr. S.'s thoughts on survival strategies and related incidents of resistance and prisoner camaraderie.

S., Walter, 1924-1995.
Kansas City, Mo. : Holocaust Survivors Film Project, 1979
Interview Date
Mannheim (Germany)
Steinbach bei Michelstadt im Odenwald (Germany)
3 copies: 3/4 in. master; 3/4 in. dub; and 1/2 in. VHS with time coding.
Cite As
Walter S. Holocaust Testimony (HVT-146). Fortunoff Video Archive for Holocaust Testimonies, Yale University Library.
View in Yale University Library Catalog:
Record last modified: 2018-05-30 11:33:00
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