Winter Time is a personal account of the experience of German Sinto, Walter Winter.  He survived the Nazi Concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Ravensbruck and Sachsenhausen.  He depicts the persecution he and his family faced as the Nazi regime of hatred took hold and tells the story of his remarkable survival and how he rebuilt his life after liberation.

About the author

Walter Winter was born in Germany in 1919.  Born into a Sinto family of fairground owners and workers, he travelled throughout Germany and attended a number of schools.  When the Nazis came to power and brought in legislation, which took away the rights of the many Roma and Sinti throughout Nazi occupied Europe, Walter and his family faced persecution and eventual deportation to a number of concentration camps.  After liberation, Walter was reunited with his parents.  Today, he tells students about his experience.

Discussion Questions

Please note that some of these questions will act as spoilers for the book.

1. what does Walter tell us about his life before the Nazis came to power? Was it free from discrimination?

2. how did Walter survive in Auschwitz?

3. what prompted Walter to save the life of someone unknown to him?

4. walter met a member of the Nazi party after liberation. Why did he not act with revenge or hatred?

5. what does Walter’s story tell us about the hate policies of the Nazis?

You can download this activity.

You can use HMDT resources to find out more about the persecution of the Roma and Sinti under the Nazi regime, read the case study of Amalie Schaich or read the work of Gypsy poet, Valdemar Kalinin.