Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zwi Steiger - March 27, 1982

Trying to Escape

By that time the, the periphery of Hungary was...

Was cleared out.

...had been cleared of Jews.

Well, when you left your parents in February '44, was there any feeling uh, that you wouldn't see them again?

That was difficult, difficult to assess because I have uh, vague recollection of that meeting. It was just--that was present there, you know. It was always in the back, "Who, who will survive this war?" We were, we were talking about the destruction that was uh, during the war of property and uh, and art and uh, buildings from the medieval time. And uh, people were not talking about uh, human life, how many will survive, who will survive, how will you--in the meantime, you know, the Warsaw Ghetto was liquidated and we didn't have any news about that. We had some vague rumors and that was in '4...uh, 3 in, in the spring I remember there was a seventeen or sixteen year old uh, young man who was passing through our home town who said that he is--he was from the Warsaw Ghetto. He succeeded to escape and he was making his way to Budapest to try to get out. It was difficult to, to get out--it was difficult--it was impossible to make any move. You could to into hiding. How do you go into hiding? You know everybody knows you. In your own town, everybody knows you. If you move to another town, you have to have papers. You have to have papers if you're a Hungarian, if you're a Gentile you had--you're obliged to serve in the army. How come you're not serving in the army? And it isn't uh, places are not big. They, they, they uh, you have to have a job, you have to survive. And out, to leave, there was no way to, there was no way to go on foot or on boat or on train.

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