Gunter Hiller (b. 1928)
Gunter Hiller was born an only child in 1928 to working class parents outside of Berlin, Germany. He attended school briefly in Berlin before his parents moved the family to Amsterdam in the summer of 1938. Gunter was in public school in Amsterdam, but only briefly; the pogroms forced him and all of his other Jewish classmates into one Jewish private school.
In 1942, Gunter and both of his parents were arrested and placed in a jail where they were to await transport to Westerbork. The guards came and took his mother first, whom he later discovered was killed in Sobibor. He did not see her again after the night she was taken from their jail cell. He was the next to be taken, and he was put in a large amphitheater which doubled as a holding center for Dutch Jews. He never saw his father again, and would not find out until after the war that he was murdered in Treblinka.
After a very short time in the amphitheater, Gunter escaped and joined the Dutch Resistance. While working with them he was again arrested and this time deported to Westerbork in 1942. In a stroke of good fortune, he was held there for only six weeks. Upon being released he made his way from village to village and family to family, finally finding some stability in southern Holland. In late 1944, the American troops liberated that region of southern Holland.
Gunter immigrated to the United States in 1946, and lived with his maternal uncle in Cincinnati, Ohio. Then he moved to San Francisco in 1948. There he found work and a room and eventually enlisted in the National Guard. He attended San Francisco State College, and then graduate school in New Orleans, Louisiana. He would go on to become a professor, teaching philosophy in New Mexico, a NATO base in Europe, San Francisco, and Nevada. He traveled extensively and lived in many places in the US before finally settling in Portland, Oregon.