Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zwi Steiger - March 27, 1982

Surviving Family Members

I stopped to see my uncle--I had an uncle who lived in Budapest who was...

His father's brother?

No, he was, he was married to my father's--to one of my father's uh, sisters. He lived in Budapest. I went to his home.

What's his name?

???. He was--I remembered his address in Budapest. I went up to his flat and the flat was empty. His mother, who was in her eighties and who was--I think she was crippled or disabled--she was in bed lying there and crying in an empty apartment. So I, I stopped by there because I wanted to see if maybe somebody survived in Budapest. And there was a letter from, from my, from my uncle's son who was taken earlier to concentration camp in--and survived the war in Germany. He was writing a note from Hamburg and was asking his parents how come they don't write him. So I left a note that uh, I am uh, I was there and that I'm going to Prague in case uh, Henry ever makes contact, that I'll be in Prague. I didn't have an address, but--and from there I went to Prague. I, I crossed the, the border illegally, eventually got to Prague and eventually started studying medicine there, I mean continued my medical studies.

Did there ever come a time in that period that you found out or--what happened to your parents and your brother?

Friends, friends I found out in July, in Ap...in May, toward the end of the war, when people were coming uh, home from concentration camp

But you were in Cluj then.

Cluj, but people--Jews from Cluj that were coming home or from our area that were passing through Cluj going to, to Palestine at that time through Bucharest and through the Black Sea--that they were saying that people were exterminated. And in Budapest on the street I met a cousin of mine who told me that, uh...

What was his name?

Her. Esther ???. She lives in Israel. That the, the older people were exterminated. But this was in September in, in '45. I--in the meantime when I was at home I left a, a note with my uh, with my--it was a neighbor that I'm in Cluj and where I am if somebody comes home that uh, they can notify me there. But by this time I knew that uh, what, what happened. And uh, I think in April or in May, during the summer of '45 I found out that uh, that somebody saw my younger brother, a few uh, weeks or a few days before the liberation, but that he--nobody knew exactly that he disappeared or he--they lost track of him. So I had a feeling that he, he was killed too.

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