Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Selma Rich - July 17, 1984

Germany II

We, we were hungry, they gave us to eat, these two soldiers, because they had already there. And they gave us, we slept over in their barrack. And then they say in the morning, cannot keep you here. Go in the... And we washed ourselves already, I was cleaner. And then they say you have to register here, otherwise we won't have the food for you. So I'm coming in, there is sitting a couple people, big shot Jews.


No, no, no, Polish Jews, survivors. And they speak to each other Hebrew, what do we need them, we have six hundred, we are getting for eight hundred people food, what we have to feed another two? We can sell it. I don't, I pretend that I don't know nothing. I say, will you register us?

In what language?

In Yiddish. Say we have no place. I opened my mouth in Hebrew. They start to be so sweet and so kind. We have a job for you, we have a job for your husband. You will remain here, please don't mind what we said, we were joking around. I said, I didn't hear nothing. I didn't see nothing, I don't know nothing. Give us just the camp cards to get some food and give us a place where to sleep over, that's all that I'm asking you, for nothing. They gave us. They gave me in a different place to sleep and for my husband in a different place to sleep, because they didn't have really then. The place where I was sleeping, I think I'm getting nuts. Boys and girls they're all night, what was going on there, unreal. But you know, because after the liberation it was like, they didn't believe that will be a tomorrow. You know, it was, it was very bitter because I was looking for my family everywhere you want when I traveled. I left notes wherever I was. I gave ads in the papers in Germany, in here. I have no survivors. I'm the only survivor, and my cousin, which I survived with her. Then I have another cousin in New York, I have. And I have a cousin in Israel, in ???. But we were a very big family. The cousin from ??? were eleven children. She's the only one alive. Then I have the cousin from, from uh, from New York, they were six children. She is the only one alive. No, a nephew is alive. Sorry. A nephew is alive. But from a, such a big family, my father had two brothers, three sisters and another brother here in the States. I look, and everybody had so many children. They used to call us the star family because it was a very big family and everybody lived in the same town of who survived.

When did you uh, come to the United States?

Then in uh, 1946, when we came to--excuse me--when we come to Germany we didn't like to stay in the camp. And there, there was a, we created a kibbutz, a kibbutz from all organization together, left and right. And they called this Kibbutz Ihud, means all together.

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