Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zwi Steiger - March 27, 1982

Wanting to Fight in the War

And I never lost interest in Eastern Europe. I never lost interest in what happened to us in the, in the Second World War. And sometimes it is--in retrospection things uh, seem uh, very easy to understand. And uh, the questions always come why didn't I do this or why didn't I do that. And again, in retrospect some things are very clear. And I remember as a--when I was sixteen I was uh, ready to, to defend the republic--Czechoslovakia. I, I volunteered for militia duty and I remember there was a, a schoolmate who left Czechoslovakia for Sweden. I considered him a traitor, you know, that he's leaving the, the ship. And to me it's amazing that in '38 I was ready to fight and then uh, in the '40s when I was uh, two or three years older and under different condition--under occupation I didn't have any--there was no possibility of uh, armed resistance. And in '39 when there was a question of the local Ukrainian population in Munkacs, I was going to school--or maybe it was '38 in the fall. It was '38 in the fall when uh, the Hungarians took over Munkacs, there was some question if the local population will want to keep that area as, as the Ukraine. And I remember having uh, some duty in, in a home--in a Jewish home to be on, on watch there in case there is anything--the local population that they would uh, they would resist and violence and everything, we had a, a handgun.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn