Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Receiving Letters

This was the, the beginning of the Czech rev...revolution?

No, this was '47. Forty--we were here--came here in '47. Because we knew from the past experience that if you receive anything, right away there's the policeman.


Why in the hell did the policeman come to tell me--to tell you that you received a letter from America? Why a policeman? Why can't the mailman bring it to you?


My parents did not want to accept that five--you know, that--the, the money...


...because you have to sign for it. Once you sign for it, the Soviets can do anything with you. Who knows what they can do?


Just because ??? was a Zionist worker in Poland before the war...

So you sent, you, you sent the money back?

No. They finally forced us to accept it. So Blume--when we came to Poland, they sent a letter to Blume and she sent us documents. But you had to go--everything was in Warsaw, okay? You know, the ambass...embassy or whatever, the American office was in Warsaw. You had to go there to find your--and who ran the American Embassy? The ambassador and probably a few clerks and the rest of the peasants in the embassy were Polacks--Polish people.


They make things difficult.

Now you did--you had decided to work through...

To give it, give it a try. To go to Israel at that time, they would, they would take us. The Haganah would take--but you had to break up the family. The men separate, the woman separate and the kids separate.


Well, guess what? My parents did not agree to that.

After going through the war, they didn't want to get...

Right, you survived over here, now you're going to break up the family. What's going to happen? If they take you, how we going--how do we know we're going to get out?


That's why I said, my parents was devoted parents.

Let, let me just stop you for a second. Uh...


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