Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Selma Rich - July 17, 1984


And a plain soldier comes over, a Russian soldier, he say in Russian, what are you crying child? Where are you? And I told him that I am from White Russia. He say, oh you're my, from my tow... from my place. And I told him I came to the doctor and he told me he doesn't want to come today and I'm afraid she will maybe not survive overnight because she has high fever and she's, she's delirious, she's very sick. He say, who is this doctor? Can you show me where he lives? And I didn't know who he is. So I gave him the address, he say, come with me. He came in, he took out the document, he was from NKVD.

What is that?

NKVD is the secret uh, police. They say like here uh, the, who, who is in espionage.

So this Russian was part of the secret police.

Yes. And he came in, he called him names. He say, what do you think, this here a shoe to repair? This is a suit what you can lay off for tomorrow? This here a human being's life. You're a doctor or a shoemaker? Which doctor has the right to say it's too late? Come right with me, if not you know where you will go. He went. And so fast that you couldn't, you, you couldn't imagine. And he took a horse and buggy. They call this in Polish ???. And we went there and he saw right away she has typhoid, stomach typhoid. In the same horse and buggy he rushed her to the hospital. And she is alive. She is in New York.

How old was she then when this all happened?

She is about six months younger than I am. So she was about twenty-one. Uh, she married off a daughter and she married off a son. Her husband was the best boyfriend from my husband. He passed away three years before my husband passed away. And when we came after the liberation in Warsaw I had an episode to tell you 1945....

You were in Warsaw March of 1945.


You went to Prague.


In Poland in March of 1945.


Now when was liberation?

The libera... I was liberated in March in 1945.


And I came in March to Warsaw.

Okay, okay.

I was lying in this house, which a half of this house was ruins from a bomb, and the other half was still good, which all the children which were liberated were there. But it was a danger to be there, but it was no other place to go.

Why was it a danger?

Because the house was a ruin. So that's what, so what had happened. My husband here, he went to look if somebody is alive from his family. So he start to.

Wait, you're...

[interruption in interview]

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