Joseph Segal: Military Service in the Second World War
Date:Sunday, April 13, 1997
ID: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.