Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Impression of Germans

So you never felt you were in the midst of the enemy there?


It did--didn't upset you...


...to be in Germany.

I think that's a learned thing that somebody has to point out to you, or I--as far as I'm concerned.


Has to bring to your attention you know, this is--but I think it would have--it's easier to survive not knowing in a situation like that. I...


I thought about it.


You know, how could you be there and not be aware, you know. But I think now if I would have been there and, and when I was there, if I would have been aware, I probably would have locked myself up in the...


...camp over there and never left it. Anger, pride, give in to the enemy? You can't do that, when you know. It would have been very difficult to survive. I met some people in Ulm over there, Lithuanian Jews who were, were survived you know, because they were in Russia. Because one of the men gave me some uh, one I remember, his last name was Diliteetski. He brought me Russian dictionaries. I mean, he gave me Russian dictionaries for free, Russian-English, because they came from there.


So I assumed they were from the Jewish intelligentsia. Yeah, a guy carries--you know, brings books. And uh, his oldest son was already going to the University of Munich. He was only like six months in Germany, he's already going to university. And the other guy--the other kid who was my age was studying to go to university. I couldn't understand it. I, I thought, how can a Jew go to a German university?




Did--you know...

Did you figure it out?

...how to--huh?

Did you figure it out?

Not there. It took me a long time to figure it out. Why would a German--a Jew go to you know, a German university.

Do you understand it now?

Well, sure I understand it now. You want to survive, you know. You got the future, you'll do...

Ah, okay. Okay. It seemed to be a very, a very difficult question while you were...


I mean, some, some Jews stayed there and lived there.

Yes. There's opportunities, probably. But uh, I, I know why--the same thing with the--with the Wiedergutmachung. I didn't want nothing to do with it. I did not apply. We didn't apply. We were--there was always discussions you know, uh, here.


And we didn't go to the Wied...somebody convinced my mother after my father died--or maybe it was my father who opposed it that much or something. And we went and applied--no, my father--she--we--my father applied also, because my mother got some money for her in his name, as the surviving widow.

Yeah, to the German government.

Yeah, from the German government. So I could see somebody, somebody was ahead of, of my thinking. That's why he went to the university. But can you imagine if you started--you know, if you would have been aware, aware of all these things, you didn't, you didn't--you'd have to leave.

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