Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sam Seltzer - November 29, 1982

German Occupation

You mentioned something about having to shovel snow. Were there other things that occurred prior to that?

Well, little by little they start exerting their uh, authorities. They came in, in town once uh, and they start chasing the Jews with the beards. Cutting the uh, beards off with the scissors or a knife or a razorblade, whatever they could. And it, it kept on going. Every so often something happened. In fact, when the Germans came in they took over a, a few villas in our town, which they lived in them. Their headquarters. And I happened to be one of the, the kids picked out from the Jewish committee to go and work for them to do the chores. And me and my boy friend. And, and I have uh, we had to do all kind of chores. In, in fact also cleaning the dogs, which this one uh, SS man uh, his name was Mathis. He had two Doberman dogs and every day a kid came home with a torn arm or torn behind from the dogs. After they, after they cleaned them he said, "Take 'em." You know, to the dogs. And I was the only one which they could not, they wouldn't attack. Because I have--we--I, I was used to animals and we had a dog and they wouldn't attack me. And he got so mad that he took me and hung me in the uh, on the um, hung me up by my hands, tied my back--my hands in the back and, and took me down into the coal shed and hung me up there. I was hanging there for a while in, until at night somebody from our neighbors, a Christian girl came with my dog and they dug out a hole under the shed and they, they got me out. Somehow I twisted and turned until I got loose and they got me out of there. And then we went home through the uh, uh, uh, fields. We went home because seven o'clock was the uh, uh...


Curfew, yeah. So we could not be seen in the, in town. We had to run through the fields to get home.

What was the status of your entire family at this time? How did those changes affect your dad?

Well, my dad--in fact, when we fled when, when they came in we all fled and we thought that we're going to run away to the Russian border. And my dad refused to go. Everybody packed a pa...the bags and we went. All the kids, all--everybody went from my family. We're running away--we had a horse and, two horses and a, and a wagon. And we took everybody up there and we went. And we went as far as, close to Częstechowa. And there was another border there, so they were coming from the other side. So finally one day they were coming from there, they caught us on the road. And when they marched then the earth was shaking. And I r...I ran into a, a dog's house, a dog house and slept there overnight. We--I didn't know what happened to me. I, I just, I was knocked out. And everybody was hiding, I was shaken. Finally you know, at fir...when they walked in the earth was shaking. We were so--we didn't know what happened. We thought that the, that the end is coming to--the, the world is coming to an end. And uh, so finally we, we came into um, um, to the town where my sister lived. Also a small town where my sister lived and she lived in one, a house where the--in the woods, where there were a lot of woods around it. And we rested in her house, we rested there.

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