Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Shlanger - March 4, 1983


Did this um, difference of opinion that you had with your father, did your brother also, was he involved in politics as well?

Not at all.

So, it was just between you and your father?

Just between me and my father.

Was life difficult at home because of that

Yes it was, for me it was. My father used to call me a communist villain.

Your father supported the Austro-Hungarian Empire but the empire was, was gone, so who would he have supported?

Well, he hoped to, that someday will be restored. Lived in a dream.

The uh, political events in Europe uh, in the 1930s, the, the uh, revolutions and civil wars, and whatnot. Do you remember hearing about them or reading about them?

Well, I was twelve years old. When there was a civil war in Spain and the Italian fascists invaded uh, Ethiopia and, and um, that, that's what influenced me to uh, be um, leftist.

You read about them?


In newspapers?


At twelve years old?

Yes, twelve years old. I remember the cities of Ethiopia that the fascists invaded. I remember when Guernica was bombed in Spain.

With, with whom did you speak about these things if not at home?

I had a close friend in school and we always talked politics at the age of twelve.

And then the Zionist group. Did you join the Zionist group then?

Yes, I did. I joined the leftist Zionist groups.

Did you have hopes of going to Palestine?


What did your father feel about that?

Was very much against that. He never wanted to hear about that.

What about your mother?

She was neutral.

And your brother was also neutral?

My brother was also neutral.

And your sisters as well?

My sisters didn't know anything about politics. They were not interested in it.

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