Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Selma Rich - July 17, 1984



...side because this was a DP camp, but we couldn't stay there. They couldn't register us. There was already three hundred people and they couldn't, they say they don't want us there, you know. What could we do. They let us stay over Yom Kippur. This was Yom Kippur. After Yom Kippur say we must go. I say, don't be afraid, God was with us 'til now, He will, He will watch us, over us again. He say, I can be as a German Jew. I speak very good German and I write German and I know I am a good bookkeeper in German because I worked in Danzig for fifteen years in German language. And we will go as German Jews. I say, but I cannot. But you as my wife, so. He went uh, and bought tickets on a train. They sold us the tickets, we went on the train.

You and your husband?


And the other man?

No, the other man remained there. He say he will, he will see what it will happen. Just myself and my husband. We went on the train and coming, about maybe a hundred miles away they are checking, they say, where is your documents? Displaced persons cannot travel. And they throw us down from the train. What should we do, we are hungry. We saw not far a Red Cross. We went in the Red Cross, they gave us pieces of bread. And we are sitting, I say, wait, maybe another train will come up. We will go in again, see what will happen. Sure enough, another train comes with empty uh, big for milk they had some kind of, it's not bottles, it made from, from aluminum.

Milk cans.

Cans, some kind of. We went on the cans, nobody noticed. And we were falling on the cans. I don't know after a short while it was already dark. They stopped, we had to go down. I said, that's it, it's a station. We still have pieces of bread. It's not too bad. We will try to, to see what it will happened. Another train comes with coals and a couple Jews are sitting on the, on the uh ??? too. He say, hey there, where are you going? I say, we don't know, we want to go to Frankfurt am Main. Say we are going to Frankfurt am Main. Because my husband knew that Frankfurt am Main is a big city, maybe we could somehow there survive. Come here. We went up. When we came to Frankfurt am Main, you didn't know if I'm a shvarze or white. We were so black, everything dirty. We are coming down on the station. We recognized two people, Russian soldiers, which were in uh, in Prague. And they start to laugh the way we looked, don't ask.

Why were Russian soldiers in the... Did they run away?

They run away from the Russian Army. Jews. It was something. So they gave us uh, some German money. And we went downstairs to wash up ourselves. But how much we didn't wash we couldn't wash up ourselves because the water was cold and it was not much soap. So we went, and they took us to camp. Salzheim there was a DP camp. Say, here will you remain. Don't worry.

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