Joseph Segal: Military Service in the Second World War

Posted by jyuhasz

Joe Segal in the Field's warehouse
Rights - JMABC
Segal, Joseph
Vancouver, BC
Sunday, April 13, 1997
Digital audio recording #: 19.97-01
               Interviewer: Irene Dodek & Cyril E. Leonoff
               ID:          Were you faced with any anti-Semitism?
               JS:          Yes, in the officer’s mess I’ll never forget there was an individual. I won’t use his name.
               ID:          Excuse me is this Canada? Or…
JS:          No, overseas. He was a captain and he was from Victoria, and the comment you’d hear they didn’t take me as being Jewish, I was very blonde. And the comments, “Well what the hell are we doing here, we’re fighting a war for the goddamn Jews?” You know, that kind of a thing. “We’re here for the Jews?” Now, on the surface I guess because of Hitler that was the impression. But this was not prevalent, but it did exist.
ID:          Among your equals in the army this was…
JS:          Was there prejudice?
ID:          Yes, I mean Segal is a Jewish name, they must have known you were Jewish.
JS:          It’s a Jewish name but I didn’t experience it on a one to one basis. But at the same time there was prejudice. We had a black guy by the name of Estes. He got killed, but quite often they would refer to him on a prejudicial manner when he was alive, but the color of his blood was the same, the colour of anybody else’s.

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