Wisconsin Survivors of the Holocaust
Name: Walter Wolf Peltz (born Welwel Peltz) (1919 – 2003 )
Birth Place: Warsaw, Poland
Arrived in Wisconsin: 1949, Milwaukee
She ran after him, pulled out his own gun and killed him.
Walter Wolf Peltz was born into a working-class family in Warsaw, Poland, on May 12, 1919. His area of the city later became the Warsaw Ghetto. Walter quit school at the age of 10 to help support his family. When war broke out in 1939, his home was destroyed and his family left starving.
To avoid arrest by the Gestapo, Walter fled to central Poland, near Lublin, where he was hidden by a Christian family for more than a year. Taken into custody in 1941, Walter survived four years in the concentration camps of Majdanek, Auschwitz, Sachsenhausen, and Dachau before being liberated by U.S. troops in May 1945.
Shortly after liberation, Walter married Rose Abraham, a Hungarian survivor of Dachau. They settled in Memmingen, Germany, opened a clothing store and, in 1946, had a son.
The family left Germany in April 1949, arriving in Milwaukee a month later where Walter quickly found work as a tailor. A daughter was born in 1952. Walter's wife died in 1968 and he remarried in 1972. Walter lectured frequently about the Holocaust until his death in 2003.
Audio and Transcript Information
Below are the highlights of each tape. They do not list all topics discussed. Recordings of only one tape side are marked: (no Side 2). Documents may be printed or downloaded at no cost. See Rights and Permissions
Listen to Walter's testimony and view transcript
- Walter's school and friends
- Learning the tailor's trade
- Rise of Hitler and anti-Semitism
- Germans invade Poland in 1939
- Warsaw under Nazi occupation
- Walter's escape from Warsaw
- Hiding in the Underground
- Persecution of host families that helped him
- Walter kills a Nazi collaborator
- Life with the Polish Underground
- Walter and comrades execute other collaborators
- Walter surrenders and is sent to Majdanek concentration camp
- Descriptions of gas chambers
- Nazi sadism against prisoners
- Transfer to Auschwitz; brutalities and resistance there
- Murders at Auschwitz
- Resistance at Auschwitz
- Attitudes toward life during these years
- The nearby women's camp at Birkenau
- Attitudes toward death and survival
- Resistance at Birkenau
- Escape attempts and resistance at Auschwitz
- Sachsenhausen and Dachau
- Walter's learns the fate of his family
- Thoughts on the Warsaw Uprising of 1944
- Meeting his future wife at Dachau
- Walter's liberation
- Postwar Nazi hunting
- Resettlement at Memmingen, Germany
- Children and family life
- Involvement in anti-Nazi organizations
- The New American Club (survivors' organization)
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