Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sam Seltzer - November 29, 1982



...hospital yeah. And uh, they gave me milk shots, big milk shots to straighten out my spine, because I was curled up like a snake. And I was there in, in the, in the uh, in Buchenwald in the uh, hospital for a while until they couldn't do anything for me, see? So after that I went back you know, I went back to Poland. Walking with a cane, shaking. And it couldn't--I, I ate with a spoon holding like this. I couldn't hold it you know, I ate the soup like this. And I was paralyzed completely, my hands and feet and I, I couldn't walk. So when I went to Poland, back to Poland, they asking me...

Excuse me. Did you have any idea where you were going at that point? You said you walked back. Um, where did you want to go?

Well, I want to go back to see whether somebody's left in my family, see? So I met--on the station, while I was in the, in the boxcar going back to Poland, I met a Polish soldier from our hometown and he said that my sister home, my brother is home, he says. "Oh don't worry, why don't you go home!" It wasn't true. No, it wasn't true, see? So when I came home, there was nobody there, nobody. My brother was in Russia. That's the only person that was alive was my brother. So I went to Poland and from Poland I came back to the American zone, back. Now, while I was coming back, crossing the borders, everything with my, the way I walked, I couldn't walk, I thought my heart was going to give out walking through the Polish and, and, and Russian border. And then walking the English and American border. I thought that was the end of me that time. And I still made it. I came to, to Munich, Germany. What I went through on the border is unbelievable. The NKVD they call it, that, that's the G...what do they call it? The Russian uh, KBG. They caught me on the border, put me in a bunker. They wouldn't believe me I'm Jewish. I said, "I'm Jewish, I'm, I'm just coming from Buchenwald. I was in Buchenwald." But I didn't have my uh, uh, my passport from Buchenwald. One of my cousins took the passport for, for foodstamps, see, and, when I was in the hospital. You know he came and, and, and took it. But I didn't have the passport from Buchenwald. So uh, they uh, they wouldn't believe me. And the tattoo, the tattoo he says, you couldn't do it, you could have do--done it yourself. "You are a," they said, "a ??? Polack"--that means a clear Polack. A clean Polack. "You're not a Jew." I said, "What are you talking, my God! I just spent four years in a concentration camp and you're telling me I--and you're throwing me in with the Germans here in the bunker where the coal and water." I had to stand on the coal. Said, "What are you doing to me?" I said. So in meantime there was a woman, a soldier out there--a Russian soldier. I talked to her, I went to the door, there was a little window. I ta...I knocked and told, talked to her in Russian, "Please get a Jewish person. Don't you have a Jew around here somewhere? Let him see, make, make sure." I said, "I'm not a, a German." They, they said, and then they said, "I'm a German." And then they said that you are ??? Polack. I said, "No I'm a Jew, I'm Jewish." So I said, "Bring a Jew and let me talk to him." So they didn't have. So finally she went and, and intervened. And finally they came down and took me out and searched me all over. And all I had a package on my hands were, were twisted, holding a little package on my hand and they asked me where I'm going. So I heard about that if you tell the Russians that you're going to Poland, they'll send you back to Germany. If you say you, you're going to Germany, they'll send you back to Poland. So I said, "I'm going to Poland." So they, they put me on a train to go the, the other way. And there was nine people with me, they crossed the border. There were some girls and there was one, one guy from my hometown which I--was a friend of mine. They were waiting for me. And as soon as they, they let me go when the train start moving. They pulled me in and I couldn't walk. I just shook every time I took a step, put a step down, my foot down, I shook. See, I was shaking. So finally they grabbed me and they pulled me in the train, the train was going down to the border, into the English, and, and American border, you know. I, I had to go through the Russian and English border. Oh, what I went through there. So we had to buy off the uh, Russian again you know, with vodka and gold we gave them. Every ring, everybody had a ring we used to give him. Finally we made it. So we came to, to Germany and they took me into a, a hospital. There was a hospital in Feldafing. It was a camp, a big camp. Feldafing Hospital. It was a hotel. They made a hotel Elizabeth and they made it into a hospital.

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