Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zwi Steiger - March 27, 1982

Opinions on the United States

Do you think that's being transmitted to your children?

Yes, yes. And about the United States I will tell you I have a strong feeling about the United States. And again, during the Second World War I realized that Europe will never be able to get rid of uh, of Hitler until the United States enters uh, the war and with its power is able to defeat Nazi Germany. And after the war, I remember in Prague uh, passing by the American embassy and seeing that flag--the American flag--and that freedom that I saw the Americans--the way they move in Europe, that they--in their background there was something that gave them, gave them some dignity. And I met friends that came out just at the beginning of the war that were--who were able to get to the United States and serve in the United States army and then came back to Prague to--one came back to study or came back for a visit, that uh, what they told us about the United States, about opportunities, about the, the freedom of movement of people and expression, that was always uh, impressive to a guy--to a person who was brought up in Eastern Europe. In addition, all the, the freedom of thought and expression that we dreamed of and was considered a utopia in Eastern Europe is uh, to a certain degree is being materialized in the United States. So uh, I have some--maybe I, I look at the United States not--I'm biased towards it. They saved Europe on two occasions, in the First World War and in the Second World War. In the First World War I was a little bit--I wasn't born yet, but subsequently the results of the First World War was an independent Czechoslovakia. And maybe Austria-Hungary there was uh, some freedom. And some people say that it was uh, even uh, more uh, um, free than the democratic Czechoslovakia but uh, and the Czech Republic was to me--I looked it was a tremendous place to uh, to be brought up. But uh, so I think it was again as a result of the United States' intervention in the First World War, and then of course in the Second World War I have some doubt that--not I have some doubt--I'm sure that Germany wouldn't have been defeated without the United States entering in the war. So I, I think I, I feel some, some gratitude to the United States. Not some, for sure I feel it.

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