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Oral history interview with Guenter Lewy

Oral History | Accession Number: 2013.56.1 | RG Number: RG-50.106.0204

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

Guenter Lewy, born August 22, 1923 in Breslau, Germany (Wrocław, Poland), discusses his childhood in a large extended assimilated family; his memory of seeing Hitler at the 1936 Olympics; belonging to a Jewish Zionist youth group; being attacked on a hiking trip by German storm troopers; his father’s three month imprisonment in Buchenwald after Kristallnacht; going with Youth Aliyah via Trieste to Palestine in March 1939; being met in Haifa by his uncle; living on Kibbutz Tzarad where he worked as a shepherd; his parents’ escape to the United States in late 1941; volunteering in early 1942 for the Palestine Regiment of the British Army; joining the Jewish Brigade and being stationed in Egypt; traveling to Italy with Montgomery's 8th Army in late 1944; traveling to Holland at the war’s end; his role in organizing illegal immigration to Palestine; interrogating German civilians in Berlin; returning to Palestine; traveling to the United States to see his parents in late 1946; graduating from college in 1951 and earning a Master's and Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1957; teaching at Columbia, Smith College, and University of Massachusetts; teaching in Germany from 1961 to 1962; his feelings about German people today; the strong influence of his youth group on his resilience; his writings on the moral dimensions of history and the Nazi persecution of the Romani peoples; his current interest in writing about Holocaust perpetrators; reoccurring dreams about Nazis brutality; and feeling that some of the best Holocaust scholarship has being written by contemporary young German scholars.

Interviewee
Guenter Lewy
Interviewer
Gail Schwartz
Date
2013 March 18  (interview)
Language
English
Extent
2 digital files : WAV.