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Oral History interview of Guenter Apsel. Interview conducted by Shirah, Victoria at Colbourn Hall at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL.


1:00 Where interviewee was born; 1:34 Traveling from E. Prussia to Germany; 1:51 Who he lived with; 2:06 Growing up in E. Prussia; 2:36 German citizens perceptions of Hitler; 4:20 What church did you attend? 5:10 Hitler youth activities; 6:05 "The Night Of Broken Glass" as mentioned; 6:32 Helped to build a memorial for German Jewish citizens; 7:02 Did friends have enthusiasm for Hitler youth? 7:45 Grateful for liberation of Europe by America; 8:09 Where did you go to school? 8:34 Did it cost money to go to school? 8:50 What did your father do for employment? 9:15 Recession hit in 1920's: Father lost his job; 9:35 Father died in 1935; 10:02 Began studying religion in school; 10:32 Did you have any Jewish friends? 11:34 Signs in stores: "Don't buy from Jews!" 12:31 Jewish people were betrayed: Sold their possessions; 13:06 Mentioned Buchenwald; 13:34 As German citizen: was considered involved with the Nazi's; 13:58 Mentions Auschwitz; 14:24 Mentions German resistance; 14:39 14 separate assassination attempts on Hitler's life; 15:11 Protestant church divided- Confession Church begins; 15:54 Family kept silent about their opinions on Hitler; 16:48 Was your family a member of the Confession Church; 18:43 Fled to Konigsberg; 20:06 Was given key to grocery store: needed supplies; 21:18 What was the country side like? 22:26 Red army invaded E. Prussia; 24:32 Moved from konigsberg to Sisconia (Not sure of-spelling); 25:32 Studied at the University of Heidelberg; 26:21 Mother died in in 1980; 27:35 First wife died in 1994; 29:38 Met current wife (Rosemarie) in 1952: childhood friends; 31:57 Daughter lives in Munster, Germany; 32:40 comments on the atrocities on the Jews by the Nazi's; 33:57 Visited Pilnah; 34:50 Standing in gas chamber at Pilnah; 35:29 10,000 mentally ill killed in Pilnah; 37:08 Did German citizens really know what the Nazi's were doing? 38:45 What do you think of those who deny the Holocaust? 40:41 "I am a German and I cannot change that"; 42:30 Do you think that Hitler could have been stopped? 44:41 Stalingrad changed everything; 45:26 Do you remember the Nuremberg trials; 46:26 Grandmother cried when she heard that Hitler had died; [47:17 Do you think the citizens of Germany should have put the Nazi's on trial? [The following was not recorded in the video.] 48:14 Mentioned Stauffenberg; 49:44 Thoughts on the Vatican; 50:30 America should have entered the war sooner; 51:34 Where did you go in Krackow? 53:00 Interview is over.]

Date of Birth


Place of Birth

Goldap (Germany)




White - Non Hispanic

Home State


War or Conflict

World War II



Begin/End date of Service - 1st



Video; MovingImage

Highest Rank


Prisoner of War







See video for details.


Not applicable

City of Birth


Country of Birth



Shirah, Victoria

Interview Date


Location of Interview

Colbourn Hall at the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL.


Apsel, Guenter; World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives; Civilians in war; Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945

Collection Description

Contains logs, audio and video recordings of interviews with Central Florida's veterans as part of a history class project for the students at the University of Central Florida (UCF). The UCF Community Veterans History Project(CVHP) started in fall 2010. It collects, preserves, and makes accessible to the public the experiences of Central Florida's veterans so that future generations will better understand the realities of conflict. It is a collaborative endeavor supported by multiple departments and offices at UCF. The veterans' histories are archived and made digitally available through the UCF library and selected materials are contributed to the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress.

Contributor Affiliation / Organization

RICHES; University of Central Florida


Shirah, Victoria

Length of Interview

48 minutes


Department of History, University of Central Florida




All rights are held by the respective holding institution. This material is posted publicly for non-profit educational uses, excluding printed publication. For permission to reproduce and/or for copyright information contact Special Collections and University Archives, University of Central Florida Libraries, (407) 823-2576. http://library.ucf.edu/about/departments/special-collections-university-archives/


University of Central Florida Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

Contributing Project

UCF Community Veterans History Project

Document Type