Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zwi Steiger - March 27, 1982

Being Drafted into Labor Camps

Right in Velký Berezný.

Yeah, for two years until I was obliged, according to the law to, to register and uh, eventually drafted into the--into a labor camp. Because, as you know, um, things were going according, everything was--laws were passed and you had to--it didn't come on you suddenly, you know, there was--man at a certain age had to register and they were sent to uh, labor camps. Some were in Hungary itself, some were sent to the eastern front of uh, with the Hungarian army to do some chores there and to uh, to build roads to uh, clear mines on the minefields.

In the two years from '41 to '43...


...when you went back home and worked in this pharmacy, your father was still managing the bank at that time?

Everything was, was, you know...

So called normal.

So called normal. There was no uh, there was no violence on the street except some incidents were. And a, and a few that I remember I was beaten up uh, once or twice. And one of your, uh...


...aunt's husband was beaten up.

Who was that?

Uh, ???, Abu's father. And they were uh, closing Jewish stores and the biggest stores had to hire some uh, uh, managers--Gentile managers. And they--most of them were closing down--Jewish stores were closing. Men were in labor camps, but they were still coming home for a few days once or twice a year, if they were not on the Eastern Front. So it was still manageable. But uh, you could feel it that uh, doom was coming.

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