RAHWAY – Last month, Rahway High School’s Holocaust-Genocide Studies class was privileged to be able to communicate personally with Holocaust survivor Peter Feigl from their classroom by using Skype.
Skype is a computer application that allows people to communicate with voice and video. This technology is a helpful tool to expand students’ knowledge and experience.
The Rahway students learned that Feigl was born on March 1, 1929 in Berlin Germany to a secular Jewish family. In 1927, sensing imminent danger of the Nazi take over, Peter’s parents baptized him as a Catholic, hoping to protect him from the Nazis. This proved not to be the case since he was still considered Jewish.
Peter was separated from his parents at age eleven, which was a pivotal point in which he began his first diary written for his parents. He endured being sent to a concentration camp Gur in France and other trials and tribulations. He credits his survival to many righteous individuals who helped him to hide. He suspected that his parents had not survived, which was confirmed years later when he discovered a book that listed the convoys of French Jews who were deported. He saw his parents names listed on a convoy which went to Auchwitz-Birkenau.
Peter was ‘reunited’ with his first diary after 40 years when a movie was made about the French Jews. Someone had purchased his original diary from a flea market. He had to purchase his own diary back from the present owner who ‘assumed’ Peter had not survived. He continued with a second diary, both of which he donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Excerpts from the diaries may be found in the award winning book, “Salvaged Pages,” by Alexandra Zapruder.