Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Selma Rich - July 17, 1984

Stutthof II


Do you know how they took us to Stutthof? With a bat through, through the, through a ocean. It was on a, a platform with a motor, what you, you...

A barge.

A barge, yeah, on a barge they took us. We were going for days and days and days. Uh, from Stutthof--I was in Stutthof for about six weeks. I believe if I would be longer I don't know if I would survive very long because the food consisted only everyday from a little bag of soup from grass. And water, of course. But they needed a thousand women to work and I was lucky. They chose me too. I was really a healthy girl.

In all this time in the concentration camp, did you see your husband?

No, no. I never saw nobody from, from the family.

Ever again.

Never again. Uh, I was among the thousand. And they took us in Germany to dig trenches against tanks. Was three and a half yards, ??? on top, three yards deep and a half a yard on the bottom, like a triangle. We digged...

What year is this?

This was, I believe in '44. It was in 1944. Then we digged other trenches, which it was like for a man to stay, it was tall, down with a automat, put it out this way to shoot. I wasn't maybe that smart, but I said, in Hebrew is a expression ???. It meant, you know, when, from Samson when he was blind and his hair got, grow longer and they took him, you know, and he asked once more to, to, to die together with his enemies, I say we are maybe dying, but I can see the end from my enemies. If they're digging trenches on their soil, it's not that good. And they used to say, "ach, you're a stupid child. Who knows what they are doing. They're still strong." And we could see how many uh, people are coming from the soldiers, wounded from, from the, from uh, from Russia uh, side to Germany. And they used to with flowers to take him, give him food all kinds of things to the soldiers, to the German soldiers. And when we walked through the streets all Germans, women, men and children used to scream, "verfluchte Juden, you made the war. Uh, American president is a Jew. Roosevelt is a Jew, they screamed to us. You made all the trouble in the world." They used to throw on us stones, because we used to ask water. Wasser, ??? Wasser Instead water to throw on us stones. That's how Germany was towards the Jews. Now a lot of people say, oh you find good Germans. You find one percent maybe. But ninety-nine percent were very, very mean and nasty.

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