Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Sam Seltzer - November 29, 1982

Staying with Sister

How many of you were there at that time?

Oh it must have been at least about uh, uh, forty-five uh, fifty people.

From your family.

From my family, all my family, all the kids and every...everybody. And even from our hometown, people went with us.

Now did your dad stay behind?

He stood behind. He said, "I'm not moving, I'm not going anywhere."

Did anybody stay with him?

Nobody. Nobody stayed with him, except, when my brother passed by from the border, he was on the border, a machine gunner, yeah. He was a machine gunner on the border and when they were pushing them back. So my brother passed by and stopped in the house and saw my dad there. But uh, he had to move on. See, he had to move on because otherwise they would shoot him as a spy. See, he couldn't, he couldn't stay home.

Was there any work for your dad in town?

No. There was no work. And uh, what my dad did later on when the Germans were in, it was, he didn't have any work. So what he did, he, he was uh, selling a suit, suit of clothes, selling to somebody for money to be able to buy food. And one of the Polish people pointed out uh, uh, to the Germans that he was doing--he was selling something. So the, the, the, the person who pointed out, the Polish person who pointed out uh, got two pounds of sugar and a pair of boots for pointing out somebody Jewish. So they took my dad and put him in jail, see? So I don't know where my dad end up, you know. Where he, he was uh, whether he was in Auschwitz or whether they, they did anything. I, I never knew where he was.

That was the last then you heard?

The last I heard, yeah.

And how did you hear about what happened to him?

Uh, in the camps. In the camps I heard uh, that. Because I was already in the camps when that happened.

Let's go back to the home that you were all in, your sister's home. Do you remember the name of the small town she lived in?

Zawiercie. That's where my cousin was born. Mm-hm.

And how long did you stay with your sister?

We were there overnight lined up like sardines on the floor. We slept on the floors. And a German general comes in with his, all his uh, buddies around him you know, and they say, "No use running anymore, we have to go back. Where you people come from?" So we told him and he happened to know the town, he happened to know. So he says, "You people better go home, because no use running anymore. Poland is over," he said. And in the woods it was all the soldiers were resting there and I remember next day we went out and we were looking for cigarettes and for food and whatever we could find, you know. And the marching didn't stop, for nights and days and nights. I think we must have been there maybe a week or so or two. And the marching didn't stop. The, the--you could hear the marching and the tanks and everything. It's, it's like uh, well, it was, it is like a dream now. But it, it was you know, horrifying for us.

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