Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Return to School

It's '45--the end of May. You stayed another year.

Yeah. Uh, in '44, that summer, I started school, sort of, uh, tutoring.


You know, the Russians already had pre-planned--the sooner they liberate a place, they sent in their, their, their administration you know, personnel, to run the shebang. Same thing with the schools. Very interesting, that the schools was just as a big priority as a railroad or, or a highway or the post office. Let me tell you about this. I don't know if I ever told anybody about this. The, the post office was a--under the, under the--under Poland, was the most modern building you can see. You know, you go Detroit, you go on Southfield and Dearborn, you see a two-story or three-story building you know, sleek, neat, nice, you know. This post office, that was it up-to-date mar...uh, not a marble floor, but you know, that floor that's got little pebbles in it, different colors, you know.

Oh, the tile floor.

Not a tile, one solid thing. It looks like tile.


Marble--not marble, but uh, little stones, different colors of them.


Very nice, modern building. And somebody touched uh, said that this you know, a lot of--there's Jewish mail coming in for Jewish--for the Jews of Rovno.


And my assignment was to go to the post office and look--ask for mail from--to the Kobylanskis or the--the Crommerses or some Jews--for the Tesslers, stuff like that. I used to go there every day.


And every day they added um, there was a--the mid--there was a big--the post office, a big hole, like a bank you know, with windows. And between--you know, in the center was a big, big hall you know, like a big room.



It's a post office.



No, post offices are not big like that. Uh...

What I remember from the, the... ...the early post office...

...the WPA, when they were...

...yeah, big...

...building these huge...

...hall, yeah, nice marble.


And they had crates you know, wooden. I don't know where they got those crates, nice boxes, okay? Wooden crates. I figured about uh, four, five feet wide, because they were oblong, they were not square. And maybe five, six feet long. And they were full of post cards. These box--these big boxes were full of post cards. Each box, you come tomor...today there were three, tomorrow you come in, there's another one. And those four boxes were always full...


...for a long time. All those men, all those women that were in, in the Soviet Union wanted to establish contact. You know, af...after a while, I finally gave up.


You can only spend so much time and so much reading. Some were in Yiddish, some were in Polish, some were Ukrainian, some were in Russian. And it was the same thing you know, "I'm well, how are you?" I never wrote anybody back.

Where were they coming from?

From the Soviet Union.

All from the Soviet Union.

You know, it was a, a week later, these boxes were loaded with mail. Everybody asked, "What do you write?" You sit down and write to them ???. They are dead?

Yeah how, how many people...

They estimated...

...were you...

...they said that Poland before 1941, before June 21, 1941, there were about 30,000 Jews in Rovno.

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