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Oral history interview with Walter Gelnay

Oral History | Accession Number: 1999.A.0122.822 | RG Number: RG-50.477.0822

Walter Gelnay, born on December 8, 1910 in Vienna, Austria, discusses his childhood and life in Vienna; the family's move to Bratislava, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia) in 1914; their return to Vienna in 1922; working with his father in his father's various business enterprises in different countries; his father's flight to Beirut, Lebanon; moving to Prague, Czech Republic, where he worked for an export business; the closing of the business; his flight from the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1939 to the Middle East, settling first in Baghdad, Iraq, and then in Beirut, Lebanon, where foreign nationals were being recruited by the Allies for military service and where he hoped to join the Czech Brigade; his experiences in Beirut; being placed on the military reserve list; working in a hotel; the installation of the Italian Armistice Commission in Lebanon after the fall of France in 1940; fears that Beirut would be administered by Nazi German officials; his illegal flight in 1941 to Palestine, where he met his father who had preceded him and was living in Haifa; his post-war experiences; his return to Czechoslovakia; and his immigration to Australia.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Walter Gelnay
interview:  2003 February 19
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: 2020-03-26 09:36:36
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