Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999



This was Bytom, near Katowitz over there in Upper Silesia.

Yeah. Near Auschwitz.

Yeah. But we didn't know where it was. They'd say Auschwitz, ah, who knows where it is. You know...


...uneducated peasants.

You hadn't heard of Auschwitz uh, before?

No. We heard of Oswiecim.

And what...

...in Polish. We didn't have a German sound...

What did you hear about Oswiecim when you...

I was shown the papers. It was in the Polish papers all over.

The camp, uh-huh.

You know, the, the showing of bodies and...


...of bones and, and all the stuff and described everything.


I used hear and read it and ah, it was not pleasant, but it wasn't upsetting as it is now. You become callous.


Because when we lived in Rovno, they used to bomb the cities, the city of Rovno, you saw bodies all over the place, on the telephone poles, on the balconies, bodies lying in the street, by the gutter, parts of--ah, big deal. Too bad. That's all you can say.


Maybe you say, okay, I'm glad it's not me, but I don't think so. I never said that to myself. That's terrible you know, a human being, gone. What you say? So when we came to Bytom you know, there were head hunters you know, people from, from Israel. Israeli Jews were looking for abandoned children, orphans uh, single people, but especially the young ones.

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