Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Selma Rich - July 17, 1984


Three days later they came up to, on our ??? they grabbed my brother, they threw him in, in their car. We did not know what is going on. It was Tish A'bov. It means nine days in, off, in Hebrew month. He was fasting there, then, fifth day and my father was fasting. And they start to hit him and running away with the car with him. Took about an hour and a half and a man, a Gentile came over and say, I don't think they'll bring your son alive because they are beating him so terrible, it's unbelievable. And we didn't know why and for what. They brought him back. We didn't recognize him. He was swollen. His face, his eyes we couldn't see. From the ears were drai...his water was, his head was like a balloon. And they told us because somebody took away a cow, a big scale and some grains to a farm. And this was living my aunt in the back of us and they did really took out some grains and a cow and a scale. We did not know about it but somebody probably from the Gentiles uh, told the Germans. And the first person who they grabbed, they weren't home. They went to, to sleep over by their daughter, by a married daughter. We had a friend, a Gentile friend, and he run to the doctor to ask what to do, how to help my brother. The doctor said we should start to wrap him around in cold uh, uh, towels and he should be lay down in bed and try to give him some water if he can swallow down. Not much, very little at the time. He was for a longer period of time sick. They broke his glasses. He had no glasses and it was nowhere to make, he was very near sighted. Three days later they came to ask where is my brother. And they start to all of us "we will shoot you." You have to tell us everything. We didn't know what. I was start to run to the street, to the Bürgermeister. Bürgermeister, this was a man who was in charge of the town and he was a teacher, a Polish teacher and he knew us well and he liked us very much. So I meant he will help maybe to save my family, my father, my mother, my brother and my three little sisters. But they start to scream "halt verfluchte Hexe." This mean, old witch. Uh, uh, and I didn't stopped, but they grabbed me and they asked me where I'm running. And I told them to the Bürgermeister. They say, we don't need the Bürgermeister, come back. And somehow, I don't know, because they saw the pity of the children, or of me, I don't know what, they, they let us go back home.

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