Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zwi Steiger - March 27, 1982

Family Sent to Auschwitz

Retreat where? Towards Russia?

No, towards--back to Hungary itself--to--towards Germany. And on the first night when we left the camp and we were uh, camped out in a small town, myself and two other guys escaped from that unit. And then we spent some three weeks in the forest and the mou...in the area until the Russians uh, took over that area.

You never made it back home.

I never made it. I could--while I was in camp--while I was in that labor camp I got some notes from my mother and from my father that they are--that they left home and they are in a ghetto in Ungvar and my younger brother, he actually sent me a postcard from Auschwitz. It was stamped ???.

What's that?

Well, the, the town. I don't know if it was, if it was uh, it was probably a phony po...uh, stamp on it or uh, I looked it up. I remember looking ??? and there was a ??? not far from the Swiss border. And that was the last uh, communication. And then we could feel--while we were there in that uh, in that saw mill near a, near a town, we could see some civilians being transported in uh, cattle cars going uh, west towards uh, Germany. And we had a feeling--we had some contact with the people in that uh, small town in Transylvania--that suddenly the Jews uh, are being transported. But again, everything was, you know...


Rumors. And, you know, the rumor was that they will--they are being resettled. That they were being uh, the whole families are being resettled for labor purposes. And it, it was an understandable uh, thing because uh, manpower was short. And everybody was sure that they're being used for--in factories, and thing, on the fields.

Do you recall approximately when you received those notes from your mother while you were in ???

I think it was in uh, April of '44.


And I think that was the last uh, time that I received uh, anything from them.

The last time you actually saw them was when you went--left...

When I--no, while I was in, in labor camp in--on that uh, near that lake in, in western Hungary, I--on two occasions I went home for three or four days during the winter of uh, '43 and, and uh, '44 in February. That was the last time home. I actually took off. I had some phony uh, papers that gave me permission to go home, and I went home for about three or four days. And that's when I saw my parents the last time and my younger brother.

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