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Walter H. Speidel interview

 File — Folder: 1
Identifier: MSS SC 3174

Scope and Contents

Transcript of an interview conducted on 28 March 1985 by Burt Speidel, Walter's son, for the Ray Hillam military history project. Walter was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and was raised in Germany. He told about the Mormon missionaries that had to leave the country in 1938, and he was afraid that Germany and the United States would have to fight each other. He was in the Hitler Youth that had meetings on Sunday which made it difficult for him to go to Church. He was 16 when the war started in 1939 and joined the army when he was 18 to avoid being drafted. He did not have to shoot or kill anyone, and he was sent to Afirca in 1942 to serve with the signal corps under Erwin Rommel. Walter had to make sure that all the phone lines were intact. He talked about Rommel losing favor with Hitler and about Rommel's replacement. Walter was taken prisoner by the French, but he escaped and later surrendered to the British who turned him over to the Americans. He was held in Alabama until the end of the war. He talked about life in the prisoner-of-war camp and about picking cotton. He returned to Germany in 1945.


  • 1985 March 28


Conditions Governing Access

Open for public research.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances. Permission to publish material from Walter H. Speidel interview must be obtained from the Supervisor of Reference Services and/or the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Board of Curators.

Biographical Sketch

Veteran of World War II who served with the German Africa Corps. He later worked for Brigham Young University as a professor of German.


1 item (47 p.)

Language of Materials


Custodial History

These materials were donated to Special Collections by Ray Hillam in 1999.


Utah and the American West and LDS cultural, social, and religious history (20th century Western & Mormon Manuscripts collection development policy, 5.VII, 2007).

Register of Walter H. Speidel interview
Garrett Schroath
2011 February 23
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English in Latin script.

Repository Details

Part of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections Repository

1130 HBLL
Brigham Young University
Provo Utah 84602 United States