Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Selma Rich - July 17, 1984


And they went in to the Germans, they took two horses and a buggy.

Where did they, the Russians did what to the Germans now?

They went in and took a buggy.


By gra... by the Germans. I don't know where they took the, from whom, from a German they took.

From a family in some town.

From a family, from a family. They threw in some grains for the horses and they threw in some uh, several big pillows. They threw us in, in the, in the uh, buggy. They say, children run this way here is still the front. We are fighting. We are now here or maybe we will be back. We ne... we don't know how strong is the Russian uh, the Amer... the German Army. Please espe... But when it will get dark, stay where it's a lot of people because the Russian Army are wild. They didn't see women in a number of years and they don't know what they are doing, you know. It's a front. Today they're alive and tomorrow they are dead. They took away their food. If they had rice and they gave it to us and they say, don't eat too much in one time because you will die, you will get sick. Eat a little bit. We shared. We are four girls. And then we saw how...

What happened to all the women in the barn though?

I don't know because as soon as they gave us this uh, this horse with the buggy, we were running. Uh, I don't know what had happened to the... Some of them I met later on, but two only. The rest I don't know. But some of them they told us they will take them to the hospitals, we shouldn't worry. But I heard from quite a few they're alive. Uh, when uh, we were, we came to a place and we stopped. There, it was already dark and there were a lot of people, mostly Germans which were running away. And we slept over on the, on a floor there. The trouble I had in the morning. To put the horses in the buggy, I couldn't. I didn't know how. So I did after a few steps they're out of the, from the buggy. So finally I came to, to a man, I say, please help me and he did help me.

A German man?

I don't know who he was even. I don't know who he was. I spoke to him Polish and he understood me. And maybe he was a German because some of the Germans knew Polish. They were from uh, Danzig, from the other places where they spoke Polish. I couldn't tell you. But we came to the border from Poland. When we came to the border from Poland, the Polacks took away from us the horse and buggy and everything what was in the buggy and say go, if not we will kill you. My cousin got uh, one girl got very sick and we had to live there with a family, a Polish family because she was a very high temperature and she couldn't walk at all.

A Polish family took you in.

They, we ask. We ask take her in, and because probably they had maybe, they weren't so clean, they figured out they will take in a Jewish child and help her, maybe this will help them in the, the Russians will occupy the place they will find a Jewish child that will help them to save their own skin. That's what we figured out because they weren't friendly. But we had no other choice because she would die if we would, we would take her to, to walk. She couldn't, she was with very high temperature.

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