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Oral history interview with William Perl

Oral History | Accession Number: 1996.A.0466 | RG Number: RG-50.030.0443

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.

William Perl, born in 1906 in Prague, Czechoslovakia (Czech Republic), discusses growing up in Vienna, Austria; his early involvement with the Zionist movement; antisemitism that he experienced in Vienna; participating in a Jewish student fraternity as a law student at the University of Vienna; hearing Ze'ev Jabotinsky speak at a conference in 1935; his activities promoting Zionism in the Jewish community in Vienna; organizing illegal immigrations to Palestine for Jews in Vienna in 1936; the Anschluss in 1938 and the desire of many Austrian Jews to leave the country; meeting with Adolf Eichmann to represent the Revisionists in Vienna; his trip to Berlin to try to obtain permission from German authorities for Jews to emigrate from Austria; a raid on his offices by the Gestapo; his arrest and release from prison; getting a visa for Great Britain and settling in London; returning to Europe to continue helping Jews flee from the Germans; Jewish refugees arriving from all over Europe to escape; his arrest in Greece and deportation to Germany; his attempted suicide and escape from deportation; the help of a Franciscan monk who obtained a visa for him to Portugal; traveling from country to country; immigrating to the United States; his wife's arrest in Austria and imprisonment in the Ravensbrück concentration camp; his service in the US Army in military intelligence; interrogating prisoners of rank for war crime trials in England; and reuniting with his wife after World War II.

Interviewee
William Perl
Interviewer
Mr. Scott Miller
Date
1996 September 10  (interview)
1996 October 07  (interview)
Language
English
Genre/Form
Oral histories.
Extent
5 sound cassettes (60 min.).