Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Selma Rich - July 17, 1984


It was really a pick-up truck. It was already dark so I jumped from the truck. I figured out because it was going slow, they will kill me anyway, so what is the difference. That's my impression I got, my feeling. And I don't know what it happened, but I run into an alley--this I remember of the last time--and then I don't know what had happened to me. But in the morning when I woke up I was in a house and people were standing, a lot of people, and say you're among friends. Don't worry, we are Jews. We found you in the alley. I understand that you passed out. And then I told them how I jumped down and how I run in. And they were so warm and good to me that uh, and they gave me even, they shared a small piece of bread, which it was very precious to them. I don't think they could share, but they did gave me. They were from a small town, Aitekonių,. This was Lithuania. And since then I remained...

They were from Aitekonių, Lithuania?



And since then I remained with this family. They had a older son, his name was Shlomo. Very intelligent, very good looking and he start to like me very, very much. He used to watch over me. He shared with me everything. And I went back to work to the, to the place where uh, I worked before in the laundromat. I tried to bring soap home for the family because it was no soap. What I did when I, they put me later on to wash the clothes. After had happened the explosion with my hand, they put me to wash clothes, which it was already a little bit easier. I had to do forty shirt, I had to do, and it had to be perfect. If I didn't do a good job I had to redo it all over again, because the Germans demanded, not because the Jewish people want to be mean to me, but really they demanded. And I tried it should be left over a little bit soap. Then I went to the lady who was in charge of us and I told her and she used to give me a small piece of soap extra.

Was she Gentile or Jew?

Jewish. The soap how I carried out is in the foot, what I was left over. I wrapped up in a little rag, I had always the same rag, I washed it out and wrapped up the soap and put it under the, under my, my foot. And that's the way I went out because it was, they used to, a big control used to be by the place where we were, left out by the door from, get out from the, from the factory. Jewish uh, police where they had a very strict, very, very strict. Then it come up to me a couple young people, they were partisans.

Jew or Gentile?

Jewish. And they say they are parti-...


Jewish from Kovno. And they said they need badly, so badly for bandages things, old, even old sheets, anything. And it was so many old sheets but they need should be very clean. So I used to wash the old sheet. I wrap around, around me, you know, under my coat and take it out.

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