Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Selma Rich - July 17, 1984


The people which had several children it was easier for them because each child stayed for something else in a line. What who did not have children was much harder, because when it came to you sometimes you couldn't get the bread, because it wasn't enough.' Specially for me, we had a bakery and they nationalized the bakery because you cannot have, a person cannot have his own uh, business. This belongs to the government. So finally my father was lucky, they took him there to work for them. But we were five children and it wasn't enough food to eat. So myself and my brother, we used to go to the villages and buy from the farmers--this is grains which makes oil. They call this in Jewish zoymin. I don't know how to, I think it's from flax. It comes from the flax, which the grains are, and we used to go through a cemetery to make this, to grind this by hand. And then between two uh, big logs we used to squeeze it out the, the uh, oil. And we used to sell this on the black market. Some of the oil we left for ourselves to be able to, to fry potatoes or something. And the rest what we made the profit, we could buy some other things for a living. I don't know exactly uh, it was in 1939, so I was probably about sixteen years old. My brother was five years older than I am. He tried to carry the bigger load. He try, it should be easier for me. But I in the same time tried to help him, should be easier for him because he was my really favorite. I would give away the life for him, that's how much I cared for my brother. I respected him highly. And the, in town they loved him because he was in the synagogue the, he was reading the Torah, every Shabbat. And I love my sisters too. I was the oldest. The youngest was then about, I think about eight years old.

What were your brothers and sisters names?

My brother was David Hillel. My other sister after me was Dina, then was Brina, and the youngest was Basya. This was meant a daughter of God. Bas in Hebrew is a daughter, ya is from God. She was very pretty and one of the finest students in school. She was very much loved. She was playing on the stage, the ??? and she was great. That's how capable she was. Afterwards...

What is the story of ???

The story?

[interruption in interview]

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