Walter Schacherl

Walter was born in Vienna, Austria in 1918. His family observed Jewish holidays and Walter went to religious school twice a week. Walter went to secular school where he faced anti-Semitism and was taunted by the non-Jewish children. Eventually, he attended printing school to study lithography. He had an accident that caused him to lose fingers, which saved him from being drafted into the army in 1938.

From the time he was very young, Walter loved gymnastics and used to travel to competitions for the Maccabee Club, so he had a valid visa when it came time for him to leave Austria. In June 1938, Walter left Vienna and arrived in Palestine twenty days later. His parents stayed behind in Vienna because they did not want to lose their business and summer home. Walter did not know if he would see his parents again. His parents were taken to a concentration camp and likely perished there, although Walter never learned how they died.

Walter took a bus to Tel Aviv and found his brother’s home. Walter was eventually recruited into the British army, where he served until 1946. Walter met his wife in 1947 at the Maccabee Club. Nine years later, they left Tel Aviv to go back to Vienna, where they again experienced anti-Semitism, so they immigrated to the United States. They had two children together.

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