Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Work on Polish Estate


...they'll work there for free, they're not going to--don't get paid. Okay. And there was another deal--I don't know whether that was parcel with the, with the deal, but another deal was made that it, that a representative of the village used to always go to the county seat every Friday for meetings. And whatever he was the, the representative of the village and a deal was made. Years later I found out what the deal was. Very interesting. The man was a Polish man. He was, he was the di...the uh, the school principal, okay? But he was also, since he was literate and intelligent and he would be independent, right? He's got nothing to lose and nothing to gain, being a Polack. So that's--they made him to go to be the representative of the village. And they made the deal with him, the Jews--I don't know maybe the Ukrainians, I don't know--he could go to the meetings that's, that's go the, the, the only thing he had to do is not--to be honest, whatever they asked you, you answered honestly.


What e...no matter what...


As pertains to the Jews.

Whatever the Ukrainians asked.

The, the county seat...


...whatever was discussed at the county seat, whatever they asked you, you answered honestly.

Answer honestly.

Okay. But with one thing to--he just, "Do not ask. Do not raise the question about the Jews in your village. What they ask you, you answer. When they don't ask you--don't ask--don't bring up the subject of the Jews."

I see.

Smart. I--but I don't know who--I don't know who made the deal.

So you spent the war in the village?

In the village.

Not in the forests?

Not in the forest. We spent it--not in the open, not all the time in the open.


Sometime in September whenever happened the liquidation of the Jews in Rovno, that same week, we went into hiding.

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