Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Selma Rich - July 17, 1984


What happened to your girlfriend Hannah ??? I can't pronounce... She was your favorite girlfriend, you said she was very intelligent.

Hannah ??? was my dearest one. She after the liberation went to Israel where she died very, very young on a heart attack.

But she lived through the Holocaust and made it to Israel.

She lived through the Holocaust and she made it to Israel and she was there very happy. And she married, had children. But I never met her after the war. I regret because...

How did you know that she survived?

Because uh, I had from my cousin from Israel a letter and she wrote me she's alive, that's how I found out how she survived. In the later years when I was a little bit already older, my dream was to belong to a Zionist movement. It was already about seven or eight, but I was too young, they didn't, they didn't accepted me. I remember I used to go in and cra...crawl under the table or under, under a bench to listen to the stories, the history where they used to learn. I used to be a very good student in school, and too quiet. One thing what I was the worst is in, when they made all kind of uh, jumping over a rope, all kind of uh, tricks, I was the worst. When I jumped over a rope I always fall down. I never made it.

What was a Shabbos meal like at your house?

Uh, the Shabbos was something to me, which I always need. My mother used to be dressed in a white blouse always with a white little uh, uh, babushka. Light the candles, make the brakhas. That table was with a white table cloth, with challas on the table. When the father used to come from the synagogue he used to bring always a couple poor people or one or two uh, because who didn't had a home and they came from another town, so the people used to take them to a, their home for Shabbat. They used to call this ???. And we used to sit at the table, nobody touched nothing. When the father made the kaddish, everybody still remain. When the father, the father start to eat, then everybody was sitting and eating. One thing which I will never forget, when my father went to another town, nobody sit on his chair. They, they gave a lot of koved in Hebrew they say, we were proud. The father was to us means the world, and so is the mother. Whatever the father said or the mother was holy. We looked up to them very much. The, the holidays were something special. Passover, the story, was so beautiful, we, the children used to fell, the younger ones, asleep at the table and nobody moved 'til the last prayer from sheer ???. And it was a joy and beauty because on Pesach the bakery was closed and the whole family were together. We used to go to the aunt. My aunt was a very good cook and she used to make so many things. And she used to say to us, eh kinderlach, why don't you eat? Eat more a little bit. Look how skinny you are.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn