Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Relationship with Mother

Then she--finally she moved to ???, you know...

Uh-huh, uh-huh.

...senior citizen over there. It was a nursing home. Always used to complain and complain you know, it seems like that. I tell her "your, your grandson is graduating from college as a dentist and I want you to come to the party, to graduation." No, she don't want to come to the graduation because she'll have to ride in a wheelchair, because hips, arthritis. "Yeah, it's okay. A lot of people do that. You're not going to be the only one there. They're going to be lots of people." She can't go. I said, "But I want to take a picture of you and Miles you know, with a cap and gown." "No, you don't need to, it's all right." It really got me going.


I said you know, when--Miles wasn't there, a couple weeks later--I said, "No matter what I do for you, no matter what I say, no--you're never happy. You're never satisfied. So you never told me that you liked me or you don't like me or you hate me. You never told me about that.'

Did she come to the party? To see...


She didn't come to your son's party?



She never--she never saw--said to me, Moishe, you're a nice boy, you--love you, you--you know, always loved you, or maybe sometimes I loved or you were a troublemaker--nothing.


She says you know, I didn't--you know, I think--she says, I always--you know, don't forget, I'm the firstborn.


She said, "Every day there's not a day I don't think about you." But I had to get it out of her.


Tough, isn't it?

It's a trouble...

And it's not only her. Her sisters were like that too.

Uh-huh. It's a troubled relationship. It's a...


It's always a troubled relationship, I think.

With parents?

With parents, but...


...but when it's aggravated by s...some certain relations...

By the little--certain thing...


My kid used to go--you know, they started calling her G.R. I said, "What the hell is G.R.?" "It's Grandma Rose!"


They'd look at pictures of her. She didn't ever smile. Oh, boy, everybody's clapping, Grandma Rose smiled for a picture! There wasn't--it wasn't in their upbringing. It wasn't their education or whatever it was, to have a smile on their face. Always grouchy, all of them!

Do you think they only thought about surviving? I mean, before the war even.

Maybe they did. I don't know. Because he left them in--my grandfather left them in poverty. What happened, from what she told me and my father confirmed it, he--so he had a nice estate in Poland in the '20s. Well um, he must, he must have been a tough, driving--slave driving man, ambitious.

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