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Peter V. testimony 2012

Holocaust Testimony

Object IDPV1209_01_VD
Date of Recording16 September 2012

Duration2h 41m 0.0s
SynopsisPeter V. was born September 23, 1940 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He describes his family. He explains that his mother was Orthodox Jewish and that his father was agnostic born to a Catholic home. He explains how his father was arrested in 1942 and imprisoned in Berlin. He recalls how his mother would remove her yellow star. He recalls that they entered a playground together and were asked to leave by a guard because his mother was Jewish. He explains that his mother was deported when he was two and half years of age. He describes being put into hiding with a schoolteacher’s family in the northern part of the Netherlands with the help of an aunt who worked for the Dutch underground. He discusses having no feelings or memories of this time. He recalls people celebrating at the end of the war. He describes how his father located him and how they returned to Amsterdam where Peter stayed with his paternal grandmother. He describes his childhood. He discusses attending Catholic school until he was removed after being the victim of sexual abuse. He describes returning to live with his father and stepmother after his grandmother’s death. He describes attending university in Adelaide, Australia. He describes moving to Montreal for further education since the Netherlands had compulsory military service. He describes what he has learned of his mother’s transportation to Westerbork and then Sobibor camps. He describes what he has learned of his father’s experience in a Gestapo prison. He describes his maternal aunt’s participation in the underground and her capture and execution. He describes his extended family. He discusses how he wants to know more of what happened and having memories again after the age of five. He discusses his attempts to speak to his uncle and father about his experiences. He discusses his anger towards his father. He discusses nightmares and dreams. He discusses his Jewish identity and his faith. He discusses how he came to identify as a Holocaust survivor. He discusses sharing his experience with his children and the difficulty sharing his experience with students. He discusses his experience visiting Germany. He discusses reparations. He describes his experience and career as a painter. Peter explains that he attributes his survival to his mother. Peter shows photographs. 
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RightsVancouver Holocaust Centre Society for Education and Remembrance | Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre | Video Testimony | Consent & Release to Video Record and Retain Records on file.
NoteAudio cuts out at 0:03:57 
Funding NoteCataloguing and digitization of this testimony was supported by funding from the Government of Canada.