1906 1929 1935 1937 1938 1939 1940 1941 1942 1943 1944

  • 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 & Co.


  • 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 Holland.


  • 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 invades Poland.
  • 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 Sunlight soap.



  • 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 Holland.


  • By January, Jews are required to register.
  • 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 enforced.
  • 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 is imposed.
  • June 29th - The first call for 600 Jews to report for "war-related work duty" in the east went out.
  • 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.

1942 - 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 possibilities.
  • 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 in Westerbork.
  • 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 Europe.
  • 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.


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