Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Selma Rich - July 17, 1984


And sure enough he was a very decent, honest man, very intelligent man. I had what to eat because it was there like a, a restaurant. And all the people which worked in this place could eat in the restaurant for free.

What happened to your cousin, the six months younger than you? And there was another woman with you too that...

The other woman came several months later. Chaya was her name. She told me that the Polish woman took care of her.

The one who was sick and stayed with the Polish woman.


And then the other woman was sick and you got the doctor...

Yes, she came out from the hospital and she was well. And she got married to a dear friend of this man who took me into work to him. His name was Henry.


Reich. It was about three weeks after I worked for him, he asked me if I would marry him. And I was really shocked. I didn't know what to say. He say, if you can still smile after what you went through, you're a good person. And I don't have to take you in one minute, just say it, yes. And we got married. Then we took once a walk in, in Prague and walking, two Polish women, they said, look, look, look, still Jews a-, alive. A, a pair of Jews are walking here, can't you see they're still alive. This was the feelings what we had when we were in Poland.

How did they know you were a Jew?

You could recognize. You could recognize a Jew.


Uh, for instance Henry who was already my husband, I will show you a picture from him. He had a long nose, black hair, black eyes, wearing uh, heavy glasses. And we could see, we were, we were talking Yiddish to each other. So this, this was the, the surroundings when we were in Warsaw. After a period of time...

That was Prague or that was Warsaw?

This was Prague, Prague-Warsaw. After a period of time, they killed a Jew in the same uh, uh, side-, drive where we used to live, in the same area. So he say, oh no, I didn't survived to be killed here. Let's run. So another boyfriend who was in the Polish Army--my husband's ???--came to us, he say, I would like to leave the Polish Army, to go because the anti-Semite is so terrible that we have to go out from here. So he was in a uniform, Polish uniform. So what could we do? He took off the uniform, we gave him some clothes. We didn't have very much clothes, what we have, what we had, he put it on. And we were running. We went to Czechoslovak... to Czechoslovakia. But we were arrested...

How did you get there? From Poland, how did you get to Czechoslovakia?

On, they call this gapa. Gapa means uh, illegal on trains.

Oh, a stowaway on a train.

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