Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zwi Steiger - March 27, 1982

Labor Camps

When did this so called uh, interim period uh, come to an end?

In the beginning in September to--for me, in September of '43 when I was--when I had to, to go to leave home and go into a labor camp as several other people, several other--my contemporaries that had to go to a labor camp.


In other words, that were older than I--a year or two, the years before. They had to go into, into labor camps. And some of them were on the Eastern Front, some of them were in Hungary itself. And then occasionally there was a letter from them, but uh, nothing. They all passed censorship, passed censorship. There wasn't much uh, that you could hear from them. I remember getting some letters from--through the Red Cross from my brother, from, from Israel. He was at that time in Egypt but uh, with the British army. But the war was censored and you could, you could, you could see a letter coming through and uh, with black ink erased or uh, scratched whatever, uh...

Do you know where these labor camps were?

Where the labor camps were? They were in moving.

Where the letters were coming from?

No, there were, there were certain, certain labor camps were stationed--or it was stationary in certain uh, you know, on the airfields where they were building them. Some you couldn't--some were in, in southern Hungary and, and Yugoslavia--in the occupied area of Yugoslavia. Some on the Eastern Front, some in, in Transylvania. You knew where they are approximately, but you, you didn't know what's happened.

And were these uh, only Jews that were, had to register for these?

Most of them were Jews. There were some uh, so called unreliable minorities like Ukrainians or local Ruthenians and there were some, some in uh, southern Yugo...southern Hungary where there were uh, Yugoslavs, Serbians. There were some that, that had to, that had to join the so called labor camp. They were, I mean, drafted or forced to go into labor camp. But they were, they were--the number was much uh, smaller. There were a few local battalions with them that I remember and remember encountering them.

You were twenty-one already at that time.


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