Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Russian Liberation (continued)

How did you feel that day? I mean, was it exhilarating? Were you...

No, it was just...

No, no...



... another day in the life of Ivan Denisovitch.

It was, there they were, right?

Uh, it was--I don't know. It's uh, so many times I try to remember. And I think it was just plain flat, God damn it, we have to walk all the, all the way to the highway, to--how are we going to get on the highway? There's no buses, no, no, nothing. We hitchhiked on three different trucks. They took us into Rovno. And as soon as we got into Rovno, they let us off where my Aunt Hannah used to live, near there, but I didn't know which house. But it was right next to the cemetery.


It was a house. We got in there. The house had no doors, it had no windows and no furnace. It was cold. And they went to look for housing you know, halfway decent housing over there. You can see all this airplanes flying by you know, making the noise. You could hear artillery in the, in the distance still booming. And the soldiers you know, trucks going--moving west.


And I was very impressed with dogs pulling dog sleds you know, sleds.

Dogs were pulling dog sleds?

Dogs pulling sleds.


And the soldiers were all covered up in white uniforms. And this was--this is when I began to feel something you know, this, this action, this was movement, you know. You have this artillery booming, an airplane flying and the snow whirling all over you know, blowing uh, and this men in camouflage and heavy tr...trucks loaded with stuff moving you know, and the soldiers on each side of the road you know, like American soldiers move you know, two columns, one of each side of the road...


...you see in the movies. This camouflage and the dog sleds.

The dog sleds were the--touched off all this?


The dog sleds touched off all this feeling?

I don't know. This whole thing was, was, was different. It was like a holiday. It felt like a holiday.

And did you think about um, had you ever talked about Palestine to your parents? Had they ever talked about going to Palestine?


No. So they--the...

There was discussion you know, there was--before the war. Not under the Russians, there was no discussion.


So when there were the, uh, cannon bullets were flying overhead...


...we were bored.

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