Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Reunited with Family in Rovno

This was during the war you were there?

Before the war.


I remember as a kid. That's all I know. I know where it was you know, over there...


...farther down. When the war ended you know, you--we came to Rovno and you know, these are coming, these people are coming and uh, Hannah and Malka came with their kids. And Pinhaus you know, it was my aunt and uncle, Pinhaus and Moishe came, they were single, bachelors. And then the Yedlins came. The Yedlins came. They were the other second family. They were also--and uh, Hannah and Malka told us that Pinhaus and Yitzhak survived. They don't know where they are, but they were my cousins. What do you do? You're going to go--where do you go to look--to took for them? Any idea? You heard that uh, one of your cousins survived and lives somewheres in Oak Park, Southfield uh, maybe Warren, Michigan you know, a dangerous place to go, full of Ukrainians and you'd be killed. Even today, that's why we're in Rovno. You know, I already started figuring things out. And uh, my mother, they found out. What are you going to do? She went and she brought them both. My mother did. But kitty-corner from us, the Malka and Hannah and Moishe and Pinhaus lived and their cousin Manya, okay? Five people. You think they ever went to get them or ask about them or say anything? My mother went and got them. They stayed about three days and they're gone. Pinhaus and Yitzhak. Now you wonder why, right? But we finally figured it out. Florence and I, we finally figured it out. What do teenagers resent the most? Authority.


Whether it's an aunt or an uncle or a mother or father, "We're going to do what we want to do," right? The--"Raizel going to tell me what to do? Hell no!"

But this was after the war?

This was already after the war.

So where did they go?

They went back to the, to the farm over there where they lived, where they were hidden.


They weren't hidden, they were just workers. They did whatever they had to do, whether they took care of the animals or whether they took care of the pigs or whether they took care of--they had a job what to do and the people kept them. Then when we decided--when it was de...you know, we decided we're going to move to Poland, to the present-type, type Poland, okay uh, the Comm...the Communist Poland, okay, because there was a shift or borders, remember?


So there was an announcement uh, you know on the kiosks all over up on the walls, that all the former citizens of Poland, those that wished to live--to move to the present Poland may do so. You come and register and go. Transportation was provided. You can take with you whatever you have. I mean, you sure can't take a house. I mean, what else is there, does a city dweller have that is most possess...your house!

And you didn't have a house.

We didn't have it, had nothing to worry about. You're going to take the furniture ???? Who needs it? But the mentality was already, ah, if you get to Poland, it's going to be like it was before the war, you can move somewheres, right? You can--you're--you--you'll have more freedom than you had under the Soviet. Well, sorry lady, when we came to Poland, it's the same Communist system that we left over there in the Ukraine. So it was no bargain. But that's beside the point. My--so when they decided--when it was decided, the cars--the railroad cars, freight cars were provided. That's what you can go in.

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