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Sally Perel: Hitlerjunge Salomon

Contemporary Witnesses in Conversation – Experiences and Fates of German Jews During the Nazi Era (video recording available, in German)

Sally Perel was born in Peine in April 1925. After his Polish father’s shoe shop was destroyed in 1935, he moved with his family from Peine to Lodz. Following the outbreak of war in September 1939, Sally Perel fled alone to eastern Poland, which by then was under Soviet rule. When – after the German invasion of the Soviet Union – he was arrested by the Wehrmacht, he pretended to be a Volksdeutscher and called himself Josef Perjell.

recording available

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The W. M. Blumenthal Academy is marked in green


W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
Klaus Mangold Auditorium
Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin
(Opposite the Museum)

Video recording of the eyewitness talk with Sally Perel on 12 June 2019, in German; Jewish Museum Berlin 2019

Up until the end of the war, he led a double life that forced him into the role of both victim and perpetrator. He worked as a translator for the Wehrmacht and was sent to Germany in 1944 because of his young age to the Academy for Youth Leadership of the Hitler Youth in Braunschweig. After the war he was captured by the Americans, but released after two days. He later emigrated to Palestine. In 1990, his memoirs were published and were filmed in the same year under the title Hitlerjunge Salomon.

Photography: A smiling elderly man (Sally Perel) holds a pen in his hand and sits in front of an open book.

Sally Perel, 2011; Photo: Julia Bauer Photographie

Contemporary Witnesses in Conversation

The Jewish Museum Berlin has invited contemporary witnesses to tell a wider audience about their fates during the Nazi era in a series of talks. Each one of them with a unique biography, they represent universal experience of survival – as forced laborers, in concentration camps, as people in hiding, on the run, and as immigrants. All our contemporary witnesses have a close association with the Jewish Museum Berlin as donors. The presentation of their donated objects, documents, and photographs, readings from autobiographical texts or excerpts from films precede the conversations.

With the support of Berliner Sparkasse

Sally Perel

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Where, when, what?

  • When12 Jun 2019
  • Where W. M. Blumenthal Academy,
    Klaus Mangold Auditorium
    Fromet-und-Moses-Mendelssohn-Platz 1, 10969 Berlin
    (Opposite the Museum)
    See location on map

Event Series: Eyewitness Talks (14)

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