“I enjoy every day. I try to enjoy every day,” that’s the advice 98-year-old Holocaust survivor Selma van de Perre told The Daily Show host Trevor Noah in an interview this week. “Every morning when I wake up, I’m glad that I’m alive. I’m very much… realize the fact that I am alive and many, many, many thousands of people are not.”
The interview hits on several topics, including how she purposefully manufactured gas masks wrong while in a concentration camp.
“She said, ‘Don’t… don’t tie the screws too tight.’ She told me to. So I was very… I thought it was wonderful, because some…we tried to do, you see, not realizing how dangerous it was, really. We thought we were Dutch and we could do anything.”
She also told Trevor how Jews in the Netherlands were taken by surprise when the Nazis invaded when she was 17 years old.
“We were thinking that the end would come soon. In fact, it came later than we thought. But it was said all the time, it will only be six months or something. Don’t forget. Don’t forget, the Netherlands were neutral in the First World War .And the whole population thought that this time, we would be neutral, as well, and no occupation was considered. So when it did come, it was a great surprise. After a year or so, the declarations came in that Jews were not allowed on the trams, and not allowed in the cinemas, and not allowed to visit Christian friends anymore, etcetera. And so that then, one was made to feel an outsider, a Jew.”
Her book “My Name is Selma” is out now.
Originally Published May 9 2021 01:16AM EDT