Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Parents' Instincts

It seemed to me that someone in your family well, either your mother or your father, had a very good instinct about how to do this, how to survive.

They were a team. I think they were a very good team, together.

Uh-huh. I mean it's--at critical moments, your father would come and say, let's go, we're getting out, right?

No, I think they both decided.

They both--okay.

I think it was a decision on both their--because they never--I don't remember having them arguments you know, the, the really, really you know, like a fight discussion.


I mean, she used to holler at him you know, scream at him, "You're lazy, you don't want to do, why don't you go do this or do that? Why do you have to give credit to this guy when you don't know--he's a loser."


Things like that.

But not in time of crisis.

Not in time of crisis. They must have done--they were--they must have been very attuned to understanding each other.

Yeah, I mean it's uncanny the way um, the way you all survived.

But I don't think that was any unusual. I think that was the Jewish culture or that was--in order to survive, that's what you had to do.

What, run?



Yeah. Run and hide and pick the place where to hide and how you're going to--you know, they must have discussed--who knows, for how many hours, "What are you going to say to Stark?" Or, "What are you going to say to this guy?" When I used to go--I used to be the quartermaster corps. I used to go at night from the pigsty to go to food. You can go to the mayor of the village...



Go ahead, yeah.

How did they decide--I didn't ask him--if you say so, that's what I'm going--you only go to him. And you know the--this procedure. You approach the house from the back.


You stand at the barn. And you stand fifteen, twenty minutes and you wait. You know it like a--now I understand what was happening. It's just like a wolf, like an animal. You stand there...


...and you make sure there is no enemies.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn