Title:Winter Time. Memoirs of a German Sinto who survived Auschwitz.
Publisher:University of Hertfordshire Press.
Translated and annotated by:Struan Robertson
In this book German Sinto (Romani) Walter Winter relates his remarkable wartime experience. One of nine children,
he was conscripted into the German navy only to be discharged on 'racial grounds'. In 1943, together with two siblings,
he was deported to the 'Gypsy Camp' of Auschwitz-Birkenau. Over a year later, shortly before the extermination
of the entire Gypsy camp, he was deported to Ravensbrück, and from there to Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
Grotesquely, before the war was over, he was reconscripted and forced to fight against the Red Army on the Russian
Walter Winter recounts his memoirs of Nazi persecution with extraordinary courage and compassion. He does not flinch
from recounting the dreadful crimes he witnessed in the camps and the cruel deaths of so many, including his first wife,
who died in labour. Yet despair is held at bay by his own personal bravery in confronting authority, once beating up
an SS guard and on another occasion confronting the notorious Dr Mengele to request extra rations for starving Sinti
children in his block. Driven to the brink of starvation, he risked his life more than once to get food for himself
and those around him. Despite seeing the worst of humanity, he was always willing to see the good in individuals,
including some members of the SS.
The fate of Germany's Sinti and Roma at the hands of the Nazis is still too little known. Winter Time makes
an important contribution to the righting of that wrong. In this edition, extensive notes throw valuable new light on
the policy of the Third Reich and successive post-war governments towards the Sinti and Roma in Germany.
Paperback 192 pages.
Date of publication: October 2004.
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