Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Trip to Bytom

All right.

I don't know, everybody--we came over there to Bytom and we got off the train in the morning. You know, we went by freight car. We didn't go first or second class, freight cars.


A whole trainload of these immigrant Jews.

At um, at this point, did you, did you know the--these associations the other Jews might have had with those trains?


You didn't--you still didn't know about the cattle cars full--cattle cars full of Jews that were taken to camps and things like that?

No. We didn't know how things were done. But we began to read--once we got there, we started to read Polish newspaper.


And we began to find out about Auschwitz and Oswiecim, Treblinka, Majdanek, all these camps you know, with pictures. And they had little booklets. And I started to collect them, okay.


To--you know, there were the photographs and all this. I don't know if they would have been probably falling apart by now.

Okay. This--now, what we're talking about, 1945?

No, 1946.

1946. So the war has been over. You're maybe...

The war was over, yeah.

...seeing the newsreels and pictures from...

Oh, yes. You see pictures of the DP camps, the shoes and the hair and the...


...all that, the pictures..


We were not far from uh, Auschwitz, I think.

Auschwitz. You were in Kit--you were in Katowice.


Yeah. So um...

But no one ever saw--talked, "Let's go and see."


Not a--you know, I used to go and uh, what do they call over there like the stock market, the ???, the ???.


That's a French word.


Where--you know, where all these business is going on. It was like uh, the center of the black market. Right, that's what it--a ???. What are you going--black market was forbidden. But the Jews lived in this--next to the university. In Bytom, there was a university. And around the university there was all kinds of apartments--you know, this tremendous amount of apartments in Bytom, very few private homes. Everything is apartments.

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