Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zwi Steiger - March 27, 1982

Attitudes Toward Israel

Had--did your experience during the war and your brief stay in Israel--does it--has it colored your attitude toward Israel and the fact that you stayed in the United States since the year of '59?

Did it color my attitude? There is....

I know this is uh, going back to the retrospect.

There is, you know, I, I remember when I was probably nine years old and I was in the Czech public school and I remember uh, getting uh, to write an essay and it was a free for all, whatever topic you could uh, you wanted. And I remember having a topic, "Why do the Jews need a, a state of their own?" So that was--it was ingrained in me that we need an independent state where we can control our destiny in a certain way-- you can never control your destiny. And so it was always there. During the war and after the war I realized it even more that there is no question that we have to have a state of our own because the injustices that were done on us and is being done on us uh, or are being done on us now, and demanded we--that we have a place where we can in a certain way control how we live and that serves as a refuge to Jews who are being persecuted. You know, your property and your life were--and your fate was always controlled by somebody else. And there were periods where we lived very good in, in, in uh, the same area in the--in Europe where we were killed off. And I think this is why I always had a strong feeling about the independence of Israel.

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