Jewish survivors of the Holocaust
Winter, Oscar (5 of 7) The Living Memory of the Jewish Community
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The Living Memory of the Jewish Community
Winter, Oskar, 1906- (speaker, male)
Jackson, Milenka (speaker, female)
Part 5: Buchenwald immediately more brutal than Dachau. Lived in tents, while contributing to the building of the camp. After four and a half years, his parents received a prison telegram saying Oskar was to be released. Tried to get visa from Bolivian embassy; complications. Applied to leave Germany on 28 January 1938; Gestapo called him two weeks later, so he went into hiding. Was helped escape Germany by Gestapo officer, but rearrested at Dutch border. Returned to Dachau and finally released in April 1939. Oskar's father renews application for asylum at Kitchener camp in England; Oskar refused on political grounds. Aunt then paid for his passage to Holland, and British Consul allowed exit. Travelled around England before arriving at camp; his refusal to join army, which he nows feels was a mistake; also refused to go to Canada or Australia. Interned in Huddersfield and then Isle of Man. Met first wife while interned; from Breslau.
Interviewee's note: Born in Berlin to middle-class, non-practising Jewish family, Oskar Winter was involved with anti-Nazi movement and arrested. Sent to Lichtenberg concentration camp, then Dachau, finally Buchenwald - one of the first prisoners to be kept there. Mother died in Theresienstadt (Terezin); father died on journey to Auschwitz. Released in 1939, Winter made it to Kitchener camp in England; refused to sign up for British Army, so was interned for much of the war.