Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Relations with Germans


Maybe they talked to my relatives, but I don't know. I, I was not a party to--I was busy, I was out. I was out looking at all this military paraphernalia moving back and forth.


But later you know, a few days later, we had another invasion, another group of--another army moved in. This is Germans.

Was this is SS?

No, no, no. Still front line troops. I mean, this was all within a week. It was big movement there.

Still ???

Still the Wehrmacht.


I went to--we went to--we picked uh, apples and we traded with the Germans for cigarettes. Dummy me, I didn't know--??? you know, I went too, listen, I'm part of the group.

What did you do with the cigarettes?

Well, I smoked them.

You smoked them.

I turned sick.

You didn't trade them for something else?

No, I didn't know what...


This was--everybody was trading cigarettes.

All right.

I traded too--what am I going to trade it for?


I--we--I mean, we were not lacking shoes. I, I didn't think about shoes, although we ran around barefoot all summer. There was a standard uniform you know, no shirt, because it was warm already. And...

This was what, maybe J...July already now?

No, no. This is still June. This is still June.

Still June. So it was just a...


...couple of days have gone by?

Maybe, three, four days, something like that.

And was--were--was there...

They were polite, they didn't threaten us, they were in our house. They were--my mother was cooking lunch for them or whatever, dinner. I mean...

Same as...

...they brought the supplies.

Same as before.

Same as before. My mother cooked for them. There wasn't--??? they were sitting and eating. And some of the Ukrainian boys, I think you uh, develop an automatic skill, something like a guidance system. You don't--I already knew that not to take my friends to our house or to go by our house, because they're going to go and tell the Germans in our house that we're Jews. Let them find out you know, you kind of steered your friends away...


...otherwise they're going to say, "Jude, Jude, Jude."

That had started already?

Oh, yeah.

They were...

Within, within the week. So I did not go by my house, we used to go somewheres else. I mean um, you kind of steer your friends, "Let's go over there." You don't go back you know, to go by your house because they want to come into the house, right?


You come to the house, they're going to tell--"Jude."

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