Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Vera Schey - June 10, 1994


What was the general feeling sort of day-to-day? Were you dominated by fear, by exhilaration?

By fear, by, by--I can't even say by hope. It was kind of day-by-day, if you made it today, maybe you have a chance. Interestingly enough, Jewish humor existed. I mean, whoever was out on the street for an hour came back with a new joke about the Germans, about the Nazis. And interestingly--I mean, it's amazing, isn't it? It, it kept us going. And naturally you knew the, the old saying that we are the chosen people, please God choose somebody else already. Uh...

Did you ever think about "why us?"


Or me, why?

...yes, yeah, certainly. Certainly, certainly we did. Why? What did we do? What? We were, we were working, we were... All of us Jews were always achievers and workers and, and most of us were honest and. Why? And why, even when, when the numerus clausus ??? it was so unbelievable. Maybe not in Poland where it was a different life, but in Hungary very, or Germany for that matter, where we were so assimilated. Where we were, lived the same type of life. How? Why? How? Why, why are we not good enough to do what we probably can do better than the next? Uh, again about everyday life, I always had a lot of self-confidence and I always figured that if somebody can do it I can do it.

Did you ever wish you weren't Jewish?

Well, I think under the circumstances everybody did to a point, unless you were very religious. You know, when you thought that this was God's will, which I didn't think. Yes, I think we all thought at the time that this--the same abilities, how could we live so well if we were not Jewish. I don't think there's anybody who didn't think about that. Maybe somebody won't admit it, but I think everybody felt that way. As I say, unless you were Orthodox and you really were a very strong believer.

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