Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Camp Outside of Prague

And we finally lie down on the--right there on the floor in the train station. Oh, go to sleep ???.

Is this the, is this the sort of direct way to get to Ulm from Bytom?

From where?


From, from Bytom...


...to, to Ulm, no, it's not a direct way. And there came trucks, United States--American trucks you know, those Dodges and Studebakers.


And they took us outside the city, outside of uh, Prague in a camp. Uh, some kind of--was--it used to--an army camp. I don't know, it was wooden shacks, you know. Not--half...halfway decent.


Full of straw. "But don't forget," they told us, "this straw has a treasure in it, fleas."


We stayed a week there in this camp. I remember we used to--we told--we were told, we were told not to leave the camp.


But how long can you stay in a place of nothing? So we used to go get on the streetcar. The streetcar came right to the camp.


We used to go to P...city of Prague.

Were there guards at the ???...

No, there were no guards, no nothing, come and go. But we were told, don't go. Now I know why. If the Com...if you get some Communist son-of-a-bitch, he'll say, "Documents, who are you?" Right?


Your fate is sealed.


You know, who's going to touch us? You know, we're not doing anything. Don't think you know, can't understand it. We stayed a week there, then we got on a--on an electric train this time. And they shipped us to a uh, uh, German town uh, it's across you know, Czechoslovakia, to a place called Hoff.

Do you...

H-o-f-f. I don't know what the rest of it was.


And we got there. We ended up in a railroad station. It was on a Sunday. Restaurants are closed, no ways to get food.


We got in there, in the, in the afternoon. We had to spend the night there in this railroad--Saturday night, we have to--no--so we got there Saturday afternoon, alright? And uh, we stayed in this hotel with bedbugs. I stayed in one room with a young man.

And he already had experience with bedbugs. He says, "I'll sleep and you stand watch." And put...

For bedbugs.

...you know, make sure the bedbugs don't get to him. And leave the electricity on. Who can stand up all night? So I fell asleep too, but the electricity going. What--then he--we took turns. In the morning, we--it was on a Sunday I remember, nowheres to get food. And they--we gathered up at the railroad station. And they searched--body search, Russians and Czechs.

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