Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Emerich Grinbaum - October 3, 2000 & January 8, 2001

Return to School

Okay. You're now, it's now 1945'--'46...


...and you've made a decision, and your father's made a decision to stay and you start school again.

Right. We st...we started learning Russian. We didn't speak Russian. And we went to school with my--one year we were uh, we started '46, school. And we graduated there. And then uh, I graduated high school in '49, my brother in '50.

Did you experience any anti-Semitism when you were in school?

You know what, moderately. Not much. Not much. That was a Russian school. And I tell you, there were very few Jewish children. They're practically local Jewish children but non. But they were Jewish who came from, from Russia. Because--Munkacs became a big city, 80,000. First of all, p...people came from villages and a lot of people came from other part of Ukraine and Russia. Among them there were some Jews also. And so about two--three Jews in one class. The most we, we, they had. Uh, we didn't have any connection with the--at the first years with the so-called Russian Jews. We didn't trust them, you know. They looked us, uh, to all Russians and, and Russian was the consensus, we didn't trust anybody you know, because that was danger even to talk. So we, I, mostly my friend either local Jews, but they're older than me or I had friends, Hungarian friends uh, uh, Christian friends. And uh, we, we could find much more common at that time uh, with them. And personally, most of the local Jews, we were very anti-uh, Russians, anti-Communists, you know. Very much so. We didn't trust from the very you know, where there was one Jew--a elderly Jew, he used to say, "These Russians are lying, even they say the truth--still lying." You know, all the time. There was you know, we saw that terrible thing. So the first years uh, in the school we didn't e...e, uh, experienced too much anti-Semitism. Uh, occasionally, but that was tolerable. It was uh, much, much, much less than during the Hungarian period in the forties. Much less.

And these Christian friends of yours, they're not Hungarians anymore...


...they're Czechs now, right.

They were Hungarians. There were no Czechs there.

In Munkacs?

Munkacs. There were no Czechs.

What, it became part of what country? Didn't it go back to being Czechoslovakia?

No, Hu...uh, Russia '45.


U...Soviet Union.

It's annexed. Soviet Union, but...

Annexed, annexed. It was part of Ukraine.

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