Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zwi Steiger - March 27, 1982

Religious Life

You mentioned my uh, my grandfather--my grandparents...


...lived right across the street from you.

Yes, for--we lived in that house for--until I was probably four years old and then we moved. We built a house on the--maybe a hundred, two hundred yards a little bit north of, of the same house on the opposite side of the street. And we moved uh, from that place.

What was your uh, your religious life at home?

Religious life consisted of uh, going to, to uh, school, to cheder after and before uh, going to regular school--to public school. To go to uh, to prayers, which usually on holidays and Shabbat, and during the weekdays too, in the morning and in the evening. And, uh...

You are from a religious family.

Uh, we were observant and uh, strictly observant with the kosher laws. And it was, it was a Hebrew tradition in our house. My uh, father was reading Hebrew and he was writing Hebrew--he didn't speak--and he was getting Hebrew periodicals uh, of Hebrew literature. And the same with my grandfather, who was uh, who was probably a Talmudic scholar, and he--as you know he published a book on some grammar aspects of the--philological aspects of the, of the...


...of the Torah...


...of the Tenach, actually. So what I remember as a child that uh, there was a continuous flow of, of journals and uh, periodicals from, from Poland, where they were published from. And uh, Hebrew and then in Yiddish and, and German, from Prague. Some of the--and Zionist publications and from Hungary. I'm sure you know the name of uh, Raphael Patai. His father--he, he published a magazine in, in Budapest uh, The Past and the Future. And, of course, my father was involved in the--on the board of the Hebrew secondary school in Munkacs.

Where was Munkacs?

Munkacs was about uh, let's say about sixty miles away from Berezný, which was, which was, uh...

It was a bigger city?

...lots of--big Jewish community, probably about ten thousand Jews lived there or maybe even more. It was uh, it was considered a center, a center of the Jewish--of Jewish, of Jewish cultural life. And the same, to a lesser degree in Ungvar, which was a little bit closer.

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