- On October 29th, Walter
Suskind is born in Ludenscheid, Germany
to German-Jewish parents. Walter has two
other brothers, Karl and Alfred, as well as a
foster brother, Robert Salzberg.
- Walter Suskind becomes the
wealthy director of Prussian and Polish
margarine sales for the German firm of Bolak
- Suskind marries Hanna Natt.
- With Jewish life steadily
falling apart in Germany, Salzberg immigrates
to America. Suskind for the first time
reveals to him his plans for moving to
- In March of this year,
Suskind and his wife, Hanna; Hanna's mother,
Fran Natt; and Suskind's mother, Frieda
Suskind, arrive in Holland.
- Suskind starts working on a
sales job with the Unilever Conglomerate.The
Suskinds have a baby girl, Yvonne.
- On September 1st, Germany
- Suskind discusses plans with
Salzberg about immigrating to Cambridge,
Massachusetts, where Lever Brothers in
Kendall Square - a major part of Unilever in
Holland - is located. Suskind hopes to manage
the department that was manufacturing
- May 10th - Germany invades
Holland. Holland surrenders five days later -
and all letters to Salzberg come to bear the
stamp of Nazi censors.
- Jewish teachers and
government officials are dismissed in
- By January, Jews are required
- In February, private
employers start firing Jews.
- The Suskinds vigorously await
Salzberg's sponsorship that would enable them
to come to America.
- June 9th - News comes from
Salzberg that the sponsorship was finally
arranged. The family starts to learn English
with eager anticipation of a dream that would
never be realized.
- In July, all emigration of
Jews from Holland is forbidden and strongly
- In September, Jews are barred
from parks, zoos, and street cars. They were
then banned from the sunny side of the
streets. Following that, they were subjected
to an 8 p.m. curfew.
- April 29th - The yellow star
- June 29th - The first call
for 600 Jews to report for "war-related
work duty" in the east
- July 30 - Germans convert De
Hollandse Schouwburg, The Dutch Theater -
located in the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam -
into a makeshift prison. To oversee
deportations from Amsterdam, the Council
hires an up-and-coming manager, formerly with
Unilever, named Walter Suskind.
1943: Suskind's secret operation that would
save the lives of more than a thousand children and twice
as many adults takes place.
- In September, Suskind is
arrested as a political prisoner No. 6062 in
Scheveningen Prison, where he spends three
nights according to the records at the Dutch
Institute for War Documentation. The reasons for
his arrest are unclear but there are several
- September 28th - Suskind was
released from Scheveningen Prison.
- Suskind's brother, Karl gives
a reunion party for Walter and his family.
Yvonne was in hiding at Karl's house during
the summer of 1943 due to the fact that Karl
was married to a gentile.
- After the party, the Suskinds
decide to take Yvonne home for a night and
are arrested at midnight to be immediately
sent to Westerbork.
- In October, Suskind convinces
authorities in Westerbork that he is a
wealthy man in Amsterdam who needed to return
to arrange his finances. His family remains
- Suskind is disappointed in
not being able to convince other Jewish pawns
for the Nazi to organize themselves to free
the prisoners at Westerbork. It is believed
that Suskind's courage was an embarrassment
to the camp managers.
- Several ploys by the Dutch
Resistance to save Walter's family fail.
- Suskind continues to
manipulate documents and save prisoners from
Westerbork throughout the year. The brother
of Max Stewart is among those saved. However,
Suskind could find no way in which he could
save his own family.
- June 6 - The Allies invade
- September 2nd - Suskind
learns his family is about to be deported to
Theresienstadt. His conscience demands that
he join them.
- October 25th - Trains packed
with hundreds of Jews including Suskind and
his family go to Birkenau camp near
Auschwitz. Suskind's death
comes shortly after the arrival of the trains
at the Birkenau death camp.