For these full testimonies, and thousands more, visit the USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive

Survivor Stories

Peter K.

Peter K. was born in Amsterdam, Holland. His family hid many people, both Jewish and non-Jewish, from the Germans during the war. One of those hidden was Hans A., who lived with Peter’s family for a year and a half. In 1989, Peter’s parents were recognized among Yad Vashem’s Righteous Among the Nations for their actions during the war.

Excerpt from Video Testimony

Peter describes Hans’s arrival at his home.

Video Transcript

When things started getting dangerous in Amsterdam, the family split up different places, and the boy Hans was supposed to go to a family. My father was assigned to bring him from where he was hiding, he was hiding in somebody’s closet to the new address that was to take him. Those people at the last moment sent word that it was too risky, they wouldn’t. So, curfew was coming on, there was nothing else for my father to do but to bring him home. And my mother still recounts the, that arrival. My father introduced him to my mother and the boy, having gone to a military school in Germany, clicked his heel and made a stiff bow, and she says “I wanna talk to you in the kitchen” to my father. And she said, “What are you doing? Not only do you bring a Jew into my house, but a German Jew.” Well, as it worked out, he was with us for the next year and a half until the end of the war. And— Q: How old was he at that time? When he came to us, fourteen. Yeah. It was—they arrived after curfew so, of course you don’t want to make any noise when you’re on the streets after that time, they were both, had taken their shoes off, as was the usual thing with things like that, and he lost one of his shoes. He came to us having only one shoe, and it was a major production to find another pair of shoes for him. Mother still talks about that. I think she finally found a place that would trade a pint of oil for a pair of shoes. A lot of purchasing in those days was by barter.