Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zwi Steiger - March 27, 1982

Leaving Czechoslovakia II

They feel that it is--it's an insult to leave uh, paradise--the communist--the socialist uh, paradise so they, they don't want people to, to leave. So I have to escape and legally to leave there, you know, to get a passport to go through the bureaucracy. It's an impossible task. I think nobody--it is uh, Kafka's stories are child's play to their bureaucratic uh, nightmare, that you continuously had to carry a suitcase of documents and paper and uh, certified copies that uh, that you went to school, that you were born, that you behaved, or you didn't misbehave, and that you paid your taxes and that--and so forth and so forth. So it was an impossible solution to, to leave with a passport. In addition I was a--I finished medical school, they could use me. They claimed that they, they took care of my education so they wouldn't let me go. So I--again, the feeling that, that you're closed in, that you have no free communication with, with whom you want and the fact that you will never be able to leave in the future. In addition, that uh, continuously being harassed. You have to do what you are told. And that is discouraging and I felt life was impossible.

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