Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Disguised a Peasant

Other Jews?

They knew I was Jewish.


The other Jews in Rovno with my, my...

And these were the people who said, you're going to get us killed?

Yeah, "You're going to get killed yourself, you..." because they knew I was Jewish. I came from the village whatever it is. It was very rough on my feet to walk on the sidewalks, because that pavement ??? to walk barefooted. Who walks barefooted in the city? A peasant.

A peasant.

And I went back outside the--you know, where we--we made arrangements where we going to meet with the, with the Ukrainian girls and we walked back. It was all in one day. Hard work, let me tell you, to carry food for somebody you know, fourteen kilometers, barefooted. It's very tough...

How did...

So those..

...you make such an arrangement?

With what?

With these Ukrainian girls.

My mother made the arrangements, my mother and my father made the arrangements.

So the...

In our village, the girls went--they were talking, they're going to Rovno to trade with the Jews.

So your mother said, wait, I'm going to...

??? a bunch of girls, she probably--what...whatever she said to them. And in the morning when it was--everything was ready, we went. We walked. There were no buses, there was no streetcar. You walked.

And you weren't, you weren't afraid that these--the Ukrainian...

I didn't know...

...girls were going to give you away?

Well uh, you know, I kind of...


...thought about it.

But they didn't?

No. I came back home. I'm still here. Um, those are the only two times. Then Grandma was already in the village with her because she lived in Rovno, remember? And then Chyka came. This one guy used to--I don't know if it's authentic or not because I have no verif...he claimed that he brought Chyka to, to the village. Whether it's true or not, I have no idea. I cannot verify--I'm sorry, I didn't--I used to question my mother about things you know, that--of that period. She didn't want to talk about it. She used to get all riled up and just--??? start popping her Valiums which were popular back then.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn