Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Selma Rich - July 17, 1984


This was already a black marketer. But this was not only for Jews, the law was for all the people. But afterwards was worse. I went to school, to a White Russian school because they closed the Hebrew schools because this was against their...

The Russians closed the Hebrew schools.

The Hebrew schools they closed because the, the...

The Russians?

...the teachers they took to Siberia because they are nationalists. They're against Russia. Yeah. They call this in Russia ???. Means enemies for the people. The White Russian school was the teachers from Russia. They taught us stories, which it was very silly, how the rich people in the countries are selling children because they are poor and they cannot afford to keep him. Of course, I did not know about this kind of stories before but, and I didn't believed what they, they taught me. But I had to listen. I finished, they call this ??? means ten grades. And those was like high school here. But in White Russian language. Afterwards, when the war broke out, my, my brother was uh, in a Zionist movement, Betar--this was from the Jabotinsky Movement. He had to hide for a longer period of time, because being a nationalist wasn't so good. They would take him to Siberia. But afterwards knowing what kind of person he was or what kind of people we were uh, with some kind of bribe he didn't have to hide anymore. A matter of fact he had some work to do in the bakery. They didn't touched him anymore. I myself were in Betar. But I was very young and nobody uh, prosecute me, prosecuted me about that. But when the Germans came in, then really started trouble for us Jews.

When did the Germans come?

The Germans came in as the war broke out the 22nd of June, four o'clock in the morning.

What year?

In 1941. I think it was in 1941. And the second day we were occupied from the Germans. We had no time to run away.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn