Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Refugees from Western Poland

All right, so the--so you didn't really know the details of...

No, I did not know the details. I know that my--when this--the ??? of the uh, refugees were in Rovno, they were over...overcrowding, they had no place where to stay, my father brought two couples.

From Poland?

From Rovno.

From Rovno.

He went to Rovno, I don't know. And uh, my father used to always have guests for, for Saturday, before the war, under the Poles.


There was m...more Saturdays than not that we had a, a guest for the...


Yeah, stranger for, for, for dinner on Friday night.

So this would have been from the Shul, you would...


From the Shul?

No, no, no. This was his private thing. It's work--it's running.


This is my father's private thing, because I'm--I remember it well, because I had to share my bed with them. You got to--he has to sleep somewheres.

Okay. So two people came to your house...

No, two couples.

Two couples came.

We had a uh, one room was kind of not finished. They fixed it up and that's where they stayed, you know.

And this was after the invasion?

No. This is under the Russians.

Right after the invasion. After the invasion of--after the Russians had come in.

Yeah, well--but they're not--they're not invaders, they liberated us.


It's different.

The first time.



And uh, they were finally forced to leave. They had to go, you know. You're familiar with that, aren't you?


With all the immigrants, all the refugees, had to find work. When they couldn't find work there, they had to go into the Soviet Union. And people didn't want to go. They don't want to live under Communism. They thought that the war was going to be over in a couple weeks and they're gonna go back home. Well, these people that we had were well off, because I know they used to buy some groceries okay uh, from the peasants for the--I didn't know they'd paid for it you know, how they paid for it, but they were there. But they came you know, with leather coats you know, they were well-off--nicely dressed. And I found out that they were from a city called Kielce.


At that time that would be far away--no, not Kielce--Kalisz, K-a-l-i-s-z, Kalisz. And they were--I found out as they were talking, they had a--their families had a factory that they make lace you know, for dresses and stuff like--so, but. One--the, the, the man would kind of--they were not brothers and they were not you know ah, I forget.

Do you remember their names?

No. And uh, they were finally--they left for the Soviet Union, tears and crying and crying, "You're lucky you get to stay here. And we're going to perish you know, there's no food in the uh, no buttons, no lace ???." They went. In 1944, in the summer of 1944, we were living in Rovno. We didn't stay--the--we were liberated by the Russians in 19--on February 4th--February 2nd, 1944.

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