Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Talking with Children

I asked you about talking in the family. Um...

My family?


It was where, here?

Well, now I'm going to ask you the next generation. I've--we, we talked about this a little bit before.


Do--you'd uh, you'd talked openly...

With my children?

...with your children about lots of things I'm sure. Was this one of them, the Holocaust?

We talked about the Holocaust, yes, but in a very gentle way.


I wanted to be--I don't think they should carry my burden. It's not theirs. Why should I make them feel bad? Why should I--when they see me, they should feel you know, father is special. I'm not special. I just want to be treated like any other Joe. Whatever I deserve from them, it's not because of the Holocaust. That should have nothing to do with it.

But does that--does that--would that be why you would tell them? Okay...


Is that why you would tell them about this, be--you wouldn't tell them for sympathy, you would tell them...

I know you tell them it's not for sympathy, it's the experience, but then you feel badly. You know, my father was abused, right? I don't have to tell them I was abused. I would just tell them what happened or how I felt. They'll turn to me and say, "Oh, an abused man." I, I mean, they're much smarter than I am. They're more perceptive than I am. They put the, the--I sometimes wonder where they got all this smarts, but they have it. And I don't want to spoil it for them. If they find out about it, then, fine. But I don't want them to say you know, "Sorry Dad, you went through that."

Well um, and you think that's the only way they would react? Of course they're sorry. I mean...

Well, sure they are. I, I feel badly for my fa...my parents. I feel badly for my relatives. I feel badly for Jews. Over there I read that somebody went you know, some students went to Ukraine to help some--celebrate Pesach you know, the hungry. I feel badly. I, I don't know what's...

I mean, is it--it's, it's, it's their history, it's not their--necessarily their burden, it's their history. It is their history.

They can find out about my history from somewhere, in other ways.

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