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Oral history interview with Walter Balaban

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0122.230 | RG Number: RG-50.477.0230

Walter Balaban, born in November 1917 in Vienna, Austria, describes his childhood and young adulthood in Vienna; his family’s experiences with antisemitism; feeling antisemitism from teachers; his memories of German Jewish refugees visiting his family after the ascent to power of the Nazi party in 1933; the Anschluss in March 1938; the enforcement of anti-Jewish laws and the loss of Jewish businesses; witnessing persecutions and cruelties inflicted on Jewish citizens; his family's attempts to immigrate to the United States; his flight to Switzerland; his experiences during the war years in refugee camps in Schaffhausen and Unteraergeri that were financed by the Swiss Jewish community and Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS); returning to Vienna after the war and the damage and destruction he saw; learning that his parents had been deported to Theresienstadt (Terezin) and Auschwitz and perished during the Holocaust; his brother, who survived the war in England and moved to the United States; immigrating to the US six months after his brother; working various jobs and living in New York, Charleston, and San Francisco; finding work as an electrical draftsman; his family life; and the experiences of other Holocaust survivors he knows.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Balaban, Walter
interview:  1994 May 16
interview:  1994 August 08
2 videocassettes (SVHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..
Credit Line
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Jewish Family and Children's Services of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:13:12
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