Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Selma Rich - July 17, 1984


Today's date is July 17th 1984. The interviewer is Paul H. Drasnin. I will be interviewing Selma Rich, or Shulamit Rudnik.

I was born in 1923, the 15th of March. Oshmyany, in Polish they call this Poviat. One time when I was very young, little, I don't remember, even maybe I was four years old, we moved to a very small town, Krevo. In Krevo I lived there 'til the war broke out. I was going there to school, to a Hebrew school, private school, was very fine school. All by, my favorites were the whole class. I loved school. My family were poor, but we try very hard, each child to send to a private school. The education was a, on a very high level. It was Polish and Hebrew. My uh, favorite girlfriend was Hanitz Herka. She was a very good student and a very intelligent child. When it, when the war broke out in 1939, we were all sitting by a table, it was a holiday, I don't remember exactly. I think it was Rosh Hashanah and eating dinner. And when a tank came into our town, the tank was so huge that broke up the sidewalks because the town was very small. The town was a small...

This is a Russian or a German tank?

This was a Russian tank. The, a little stream went through to the town, which it was from a well. So the streets were very narrow. So they had to go on the sidewalks with the tank to be able to get through. A young man came out from the tank and hold a speech. Some of the, the people ask him questions, if there were in Russian language, if they have oranges. He didn't know even what it is because he said, the factories are making in the millions. Now is everything yours. The rich people will never exterminate you. That was his speech. Some of the young boys, Jewish fellows came up and they said, I am a, I am one of the Communists which were under the, underground. My father is a blacksmith--to them was this was a big honor, because they were poor. But afterwards, those people were very disappointed because they had to stay everything in line, for bread, for kerosene. We didn't have any electricity in this town. We had kerosene lamps.

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