Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zwi Steiger - March 27, 1982

Hungarian Invasion

What did your father do for a living?

My father was managing a, a local bank, where he was employed probably um, twenty-four--about twenty-five years since after the First World War, where he started there as a young clerk uh, and when he became a manager until he was taken away to Auschwitz in '44. So this is where he worked. He...

He worked right up until the time he was taken away?

They--up, up to that time, yes. There was uh, eventually towards the end, I mean, the last uh, probably two years or three years, there was a, a Gentile manager who was appointed there who was a former member of the Hungarian uh, parliament, who was a so called manager--a titular manager. He didn't uh, he didn't--I don't think he had any understanding of the bank management.

He was only there because he was Gentile.

But it was--he was imposed on, so there is no uh, no Jew in managerial uh, positions. So he had to be appointed.

Now that was already after the Hungarians...

That was after...

...took control?

...after the Hungarians took control. I think it was in 1940 of '41 when he was uh, appointed there.

Is that when the Hungarians took control?

The Hungarians took control over our area, which is the northern part of the--of Carpathian Ruthenia in '39, in March.

How did that come about? What was the reason for that?

The--as you know, the Czech Republic started falling apart in October of '38 and when the northern part of uh, Bohemia was annexed to, to the Soviet Union--that was the Munich Pact.

To the Soviet Union to...

No, I'm sorry, to Germany.

And that was the Sudetenland?

The Sudetenland. And that, that followed in March of '3...of '39 by complete takeover of Bohemia and Moravia by the Germans. Slova...Slovakia became a independent uh, nation. In southern part of Slovakia and uh, Carpathian Ruthenia was taken over by the Hungarian in '38 in October. But Ca...and Carpathian Ruthenia was still part of Czechoslovakia until March of '39. And then in March of '39, the Hungarians marched in after the, the republic fell apart completely. There was some, some fighting but uh, maybe a few casualties uh, of uh, Ukrainians who resisted the Hungarian occupation or the Hungarian entity. But uh, they occupied it in '39 completely.

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