Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999



Because the, the priest used to come, the Catholic or the Russian used to come uh, one day a week and teach religion. This opening day of the school, everybody was lined up according to grades you know, group--you know, nice and neat. And the church came out you know, with uh, the priest came in full regalia, with the, with the--with a choir. And they brought up you know, they had like standards you know, army has standards...


...it's not...

Yeah, yeah.

Like the Roman standards you know, they wear...


They carried the Roman soldiers. Well, this is like a standard that portrayed uh, uh, church persons, God's saints you know, the Virgin--with the Virgin Mary, all kinds of different saints you know, the icons, just portraits of Jesus.


So ??? you know, looking back at it now, ??? there was a resemblance like--that you see in the movie, a Roman legion marching you know, what you see in the front, you see all these soldiers carrying the standards.

Yeah, but you were in school--you were in the church?

I went right there.

So what did you think? I mean, had you ever seen anything like this before?

No, not in a school opening. I, I used to see during the holidays. They used to march around the church you know or at funerals, if somebody of importance like this Roman legion ??? used to precede the funeral or some holiday. But not at the school. And I stood there and I just wondered, why is it that the church is--why is it that you know, so it never was before, that portrayal. Well, before there's--before this uh, uh, uh, whatever started--whenever they started, somebody came up to me and says, "Moshka, you have to go home from here. You got to go away from here. Jews are not allowed in the school." And he actually took me by the back of the--not by--of the neck, but by the collar and made sure that I got out of line--you know, out of the formation.

Do you remember who this was?


A--a student?

No, it was not a student, it was an adult.

It was an adult.

And walked me out you know, out of the--as if you were a--not a group--a s...like a little regiment, okay?


And I had to go home, so I went down the hill, went to the meadow by the river. And I was very hurt. I was very upset that...

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