Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Selma Rich - July 17, 1984

Arrival in U.S.

So when uh, when we, after three weeks, we went on the ship and we came to the United States. It was the, the thrillest day of my life. It was in May, the 20th of May. It was three o'clock in the afternoon. It was ship Marine Fletcher. We were late about two days because it was a very rough sea and uh, was a delay. When we came to the, when we came to the United States was orchestras, was so many people and flowers. And it was such a warm welcome because on the boat were soldiers, American citizens and this was the first ship which arrived to the United States after the Second World War. And we are on this boat. The name of the boat was Marina Fletcher. This day I will never forget in my life. Coming to the United States, I found two ladies and they told me that my three sisters were killed. My brother was killed in Germany with another two men from my hometown. My mother was killed in Stutthof in the same barrack where I was, Barrack 29, was short before the liberation. And my father, I don't know where, but I know he's not alive. How he was killed, I don't know.

[interruption in interview]

I remember when, when I was a little girl at home, it wasn't too many toys. Was the last that I have from my brother, from my parents and from my cousin, we used to go out outside and play around and have so much fun in the, in the little stream, we used to try to fit in the water and to make fun. And then we used to go in the woods and to pick the wild nuts. I used to go in, in the stream and play around with the other kids. It was a lot of fun. I remember when I used to go in the woods to pick some mushrooms. And my father used to go with us and to, to show us which one is not poisoned, so we knew. And then we used to go and pick nuts. And the nuts we used to bring home, it was so much fun, and to make 'em dry for Pesach. Used to play Pesach with nuts. Used to take a little board and roll 'em down and the nuts which got stepped from this nut was already, was the winner. It was a lot of fun, for us every little thing was fun. Then when I grow older I had a lot of friends. To me I felt that the whole world are my friends.

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