Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Zwi Steiger - March 27, 1982

Jewish and Gentile Relations in Velký Berezný

When you said there were about three thousand in Velký Berezný...

Yeah, in population.

...is that three thousand Jews or total population?

No, total population was about three thousand people and uh, one third was, was Jewish.

And what were the relations like between the goyim and the, and the Jews?

Between the Gentiles and the Jews was, as far as I remember, it was always um, it was good. There were frictions, as there always are between uh, people live together with your neighbors. I--if I remember correctly, there was one attempt of uh, of uh, so called uh, blood libel suit. And I remember I was probably was five or six years old when my father went to testify to Ungvar to--in the trial. Which I think it was wa...it was absolutely nonsense, the whole thing.

Was your father testifying as an expert or was...


He had some direct involvement in it?

I cannot remember or he was, he was going to testify or he was just going to, to be there at the trial to, to listen. And then I remember maybe one murder in a smaller--in a hamlet not far from us, uh, probably five, six miles away in a hamlet in the mountains, there was a Jewish uh, store keeper or an inn keeper who was killed. But that could have been a simple robbery. But there were usually--I think they were correct. We had, you know, run ins with some of the kids in school, but nothing serious. At least this was my recollection.

Your father as a bank manager obviously worked closely...


...with Gentiles.

Yeah, I, I remember them coming to the house to ask questions and advice and how to manage it and how to postpone the loans. And it seemed there was--I don't think there were bad feelings.

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