Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999


The following is an interview with Martin Koby conducted on the afternoon of April 20, 1999, at the University of Michigan--Dearborn. The interviewer is Sidney Bolkosky.

Uh, Could you tell me your name, please and, uh...

My name now is Martin Koby at the present, right.

And what, what was it before?

It used to Moses. Anglicized Moses Kobylanski.



Spell, spell Koby...

K-o-b-y-l-a-n-s-k-i. That's what I'm--that was--was my name in Poland um, where, where I lived in the--Poland and the Western Ukraine.


My father's name was the same thing, same as my grandfather's. But when they had children that started going to school and everybody was harassing them about their Polish name.

In Poland?

Here, in Detroit.

Here in the, in the United States.

In Detroit.

So you changed it here.

So for um, besides my wife insisted it's too long. Because it--she worked for the police department at the time she used to use the IBM machine, you know...


...punching the--it would not--so many letters would not fit in--into the, into the IBM cards.

And, and tell me where you were born.

I was born in the city of Rovno in 1930. It's uh, it's--the region was, the region was called Volhynia, the Ukrainian um, sort of states. The region was called Volhynia and, uh...

In the village you were...

But then, I don't know, sometimes during the Depression, during the--I don't know whether it's '31 or '32 or '33--whatever, we--my parents moved to the village of Giuszwica.

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