Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Demonstration in Bytom

This story in Bytom, what happened to me in 19--late '45, early '46. I went downtown you know, to take a stroll and see--you know, meet my friends about eleven--ten-thirty--eleven o'clock, to see what was going on. And I see there's something kind of a demonstration going on. These Polish people you know, are marching in the street. They're holding hands. It's some--you know, interlocked you know, like Martin Luther King used to walk...


...with his friend. Always--see, I go up--you know, I couldn't--I still don't know why it is, but maybe I have an idea. They always interlock the arms you know, they...


They don't hold hands.


They make like cha...a chain link, right?


Whether that's symbolic or whether that's a, a protective mechanism, I don't know.

It's both.


It's both.

Okay. And these Polish people, men and women--adults, they're marching through the street and shouting some things and carrying a Polish flag. Ah, I says, no, no, you got to be careful here, this is, this is Soviets, you know. You have to be--you know, it's an, an automatic something turned on in the head, you got to be--so I was walking on the sidewalk and I followed them around.

Do you think your survival...


Is it your survival instincts...

Something told me, you know...

...reactivated? Uh-huh.

...you just stay--and I stood up--I remember like today, I stood close to the buildings, always looking for an opening you know, if there's a door. Because over there they have those big gates you know, all wooden. And the--at the big gate there's a little door. Every time I went by, well, I tried if it's open, because you got to...

This is still part of what Mr. Czepko taught you?

Well, I guess so. Well, you learn...

On the job?

...on the job...


On job training. But you're...

All right. So you're watching this demonstration.



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