Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Selma Rich - July 17, 1984


You, you don't have no strength when you eat. They were so good. When sometimes my father had a misunderstanding with my aunt, the children didn't care, they used to go to the aunt and hug her and kiss her and the aunt used to laugh and it was like one home, it was so warm. And that's the tru... the way I feel to my cousin now in New York. For Pesach he used to come all the time to me, we used to spend together. When my husband passed away he, three and a half years ago, I was, thirty-six most beautiful years of my life. In spite of he was a very disable, sick man for fifteen years. But he smiled and his goodness will be forever.

Tell me, did you have children? You have children.

I do. I have a daughter, a married daughter. I have three grandchildren, they're from my daughter, son-in-law.

Where do your uh, children live?

In, in Windsor and my grandchildren are going to Akiva day school here. Everyday they are dressed.

So your daughter lives in Windsor?


And your son?

My son is ill. He lives here.


Has mental problems and no job.

Okay, let me ask you about...

I never mentioned about my children, if this was wrong.

No! No, no.

Could I, could I add?

Oh yes, I'm going to ask you about something. Tell, what would you like to tell about your children?

I have a daughter, which, both children had a very--I don't know how to say it--I wouldn't say miserable, but unhappy childhood from illness. My husband was in and out from the hospital, very ill. I wasn't rich. I had to go to work to support the family to help. And my son was six, my daughter was seven, I collapsed with severe hemorrhages. From the mouth and the rectum and they gave me up... I was for five years really ill. But God was good to me and he gave me ??? to live and I, I myself took in my hand, I throw away all the medication. I put myself on a baby food diet because they told me it's strictly bleeding ulcer from my past and what I went through here too. I lost a son here, in Ford Hospital, two and a half years old, two years and three months he was old. And after such a trouble and uh, starting a new life and uh, losing a child, very, very painful. I cannot explain it to you.

Did you ever talk to your children about your experiences in the Holocaust?

The thing, the thing is what I'm trying to tell you now. My daughter knows and my son knows. I didn't talk to them, no, because it's too painful.

For you or...

I was so, I had so many beatings which I didn't mention even here, I would feel that I would collapse. Another thing which I didn't mention here, and I regret, child killings. This I still have nightmares and I cannot get rid of my mind. They took all the children and elderly people and they put next to children and they threw on the, on the trucks. And uh, the children used to scream mamma, help, mamma, help me, mammala help me.

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