Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sam Seltzer - November 29, 1982

Relations with non-Jews

Did you experience, yourself, any anti-Semitism prior to the war?

Yes, I did.

Do you remember any specific examples?

Yes, I do. I had uh, boyfriends, which they were Christians, which I played soccer with them. Which uh, one of the boyfriends used to sing every night, he used to stand on the, on the steps and sing against the Jews. And Jews go to Palestine and you'll be better off there and so forth. All kind of songs. They had all kind of songs, in Polish, which you know, singing against the Jews. And short before the war they were, those Polish people were wearing swastikas and they were going around, in town, going around and singing against uh, all kind of songs against the rabbis and all kind of stuff against, and in fact, we had a, a whole uh, fight. We had bad, very bad fight with battles, real battles and so forth. My brother was in it.


Yeah. I was too young. But my brother was in it.

Did you talk about those things with your parents? The experiences you had with these other children?

No, I was too young to talk about those things. I was too young.

How about your father in his work as a veterinarian? Did he experience anti-Semitism?

Well, in town itself we had uh, uh, uh, fights with the uh, Christians, I mean--got drunk and they were out to kill the Jews. In fact uh, on one of the Fridays--nights, we had, sitting nice and talking and so forth, a brick came flying through the window and hit my sister in the face. So--and all, so--and calling names, Jews and Jews. And we were a very known family, see? Very big and very uh, known family in, in this town. So uh, there was incidents like this all the time.

Let me ask more specifically about you. You completed your sixth grade education and after you left school, did you work?

No. No. The uh, Reich, the, 1939 the Germans came in and uh, we had to go and shovel snow for them. We had to uh, they took us into--through the border with the streetcar and we had to shovel snow for them in cities to free the uh, freeways and so forth. Until 1941, when I went to the camps.

Okay, let's go back for just a moment. Prior to the war, did you specifically have any plans for the future? You were fourteen, I know. Were you intending to go on with your education?

Uh, well, there was no uh, um, higher education. I mean, there wasn't, not in this town, let's put it that way. But I, I, I was going for being a professional soccer player. I was going for international, yeah. I was one of the best. Yeah.

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