Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Malka Sternberg - January 31, 2008

Being an Army Medic

I see. Do you remember any specific events about you parti...you participated in the war, War of Independence I assume.

Yes, but I don't have many events that I remember. I have afterwards in the war of '56, 1956--the Kadesh war and the Sino--Sinai War. I've gone to a course--from the kibbutz they sent me--they sort of sending people to a nursing course but it was the, the medic--para...the medics in the army so I was with a group of army--we were medics. And I came out--I was the first to the top but they didn't give me the top because the top courses would make me in charge of the ??? not the regimens but under the regimens and so they didn't want a girl in that because I was supposed to be a boy. I was sent as a man, I wasn't sent as a woman. I was doing the course, there were three, three of us girls. All the rest were fifty men but they remembered me and every time that something happened they always called me to be there in case ??? that I should be on the spot. And this happened all--many times the Syrians attacked at different places. Several times there was little fights, you know, and I was always there. They came at four o'clock or two o'clock in the morning to collect me and in this--in the Sinai War they didn't send me back. I was there for I think nearly two weeks, wasn't it? Two weeks I was there or more? Other people were home within three or four days and I was--our, our little unit, we stayed for two weeks. We didn't have much to do. I prepared a hospital down there. In fact, that was the first day I prepared a hospital and then I took turns with the, with the Morse people--code people. They had to stay twenty four hours a day. I sat there and we had to count the, the cars coming in from Syria into Jordan. Every car had to be counted so that's what I did most of the, the war but we couldn't go home, we couldn't take leave, we couldn't do anything. We had to be there on the spot. So because it was so--when they, they recruited me I was the only girl in four hundred boys--men and I was kosher and Jewish. So I'm kosher and I wouldn't eat the food there and when there I was of course I was always the only girl. I also had to make my own food for Shabbos because I couldn't travel, there was the kitchen was in the--the food kitchen was in the field, field kitch...kitchen so I couldn't go. I had to stay there so I had to prepare food and everything from tins and mixing tins together and I made myself a Shabbos ??? for, for a kettle so we could have a hot drink and the others came--just before Shabbos came in, two more arrived. One had challas and one had wine so we had a lovely Shabbos together.

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