Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Departure of Friend (continued)

Well, somehow we survived. After she left, I said, "Ilona, what's wrong with your friend? You know, something is drastically wrong," I said. She..."so what do you--what makes you think so?" "She never smiled but--not once I saw her--didn't smile, with all this fun and reverie going on, not smiling." She thought it was hilarious that we, we noticed that, George and I. She didn't smile because her mother was training her so she'd have a nice complexion, no crow's feet...

Oh, my God.

...no wrinkles.

So she was--the, the...

But I found out who she was. She was Minister ??? daughter, the, the Minister of Transportation.

I see.



And there were chauffeurs waiting for them--two, not one. Oh, God!

How did she know all these people?


How did she know...

She--they knew them from before the war, from Krakow.

So--I see.

That these--he was a dentist. To be a Jewish dentist in Poland before the war was upper echelons.


Wasn't it? Sure.

Professional people--it was the, the universities were closed to them, so...

So they must have known some somehow, but they were from Krakow somewheres.

Hm. Uh, and this was a birthday party.

This was a birthday party for ???.

Had you ever been to a birthday party before?


This was...

I was never at a birthday party. Didn't even know what the heck it's all about.

And did, did you think what, all birthday parties were like this?

No. I didn't think that all birthday parties--I didn't expect anything like that. It's only birthday parties became important here, when I came to the United States.

But this wasn't in the United States, was it?

No, this was in Bytom.

In Bytom still. Um...

What did they do the rest of the time. Go on.

[interruption in interview]

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