I was there.
When the end of the war started closing in, and the battles in Berlin became harder, there was a risk that the house where Walter lived with his family would be hit. They went to an underground station where there were small bunkers.
The Red Army captured Berlin in 1945. Walter and his family had survived, but the Russians found it hard to believe that them when they and the other Jews came out of their hiding places.
Even after the war, Walter and Leonie were subject to antisemitism, and they decided to leave Germany and go to the British mandate Palestine. A few years later, in 1956, the whole family started a new life in Sweden.
Walter Frankenstein (1924), Germany
The Red Army Captures Berlin
Walter talks about the situation for him, Leonie and other Jews at the end of the war.
1) Listen to Walter as he talks about the situation for him, Leonie and other Jews at the end of the war.
We Leave Germany
Walter talks about his and Leonie's decision to leave Germany.
2) Listen to Walter as he talks about his and Leonie's decision to leave Germany. Answer the questions.
2a. Why couldn't Walter and Leonie stand staying in Germany?
2b. What does Walter say about some people's behaviour?
Walter talks about the family's journey to, and life in, Sweden.
3) Listen to Walter as he talks about the family's life in Sweden. Answer the question.
3a. Walter and Leonie sent their children to an ordinary school. Why did they send them to a Jewish school?
In Memory of Erna
Walter talks about the memorials he campaigned to put in place for the Auerbach children’s home where he also once lived.
4) Listen to Walter as he talks about the memorials he campaigned to put in place for the Aucherbach children's home where he also once lived. Answer the questions.
4a. Why was it essential for Walter to campaign for the memorials at the children's home?
4b. If you were asked to explain the importance of memorials and keeping the memories alive, what would you say?
The Situation of the Jews That Survived in Berlin and Other Places
A slideshow that explains the situation of the Jews that survived in and other places.
5) Watch the presentation explaining the situation of the Jews that survived in Berlin and other places. Then answer the questions.
5a. In one of the pictures, some men are changing the names of the streets after the war. There is a phrase that says "the winner writes the history", and this is often true. For what reason do they change the names of the streets? Motivate your answer!
5b. After the war, Germany was going through denazification. To what does the term refer? What were the actions taken to run the denazification effort?
5c. Advanced question: Would you say that it is possible to denazify people and a community?
5d. After the war, some Jews chose to leave Germany. What reasons can you think of concerning people's decision to leave in peacetime?