Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Relations with Germans

Still the Wehrmacht?

Right--yeah, I think it was the Wehrmacht.


Because one day there came a truck with soldiers, you know. And they, they were--the first thing they--I don't know, the natives, the Ukrainians learned very quickly to send them to the Jews. So one day we will see--you know, they picked out whatever they wanted and they will get on the truck. And I followed them with my friends. You know, I didn't want to be outside the circle. You know, a group is supposed to be like a pack of wolves, right? One protects the other.


That's what I assumed.

But these are non-Jews.

These are non-Jews.

Yeah, okay.

Right. And one of them says, "Jude" you know, pointing a me, the--he told the Germans, "Jude, Jude" point--pointing at me. And the guy says to him, "Todt schlage ihm. Todt schlage ihm." Kill him.

Kill him.

That's what the German said to the Ukrainian. I mean, I can understand, even if I didn't study German, Todt schlage...

Todt schlage--yeah.

Shlogn toyt...

Yeah. It's like--it's Yiddish.



So the guy says to--the kid asks me, "What did he say?" "He said, he told--he said we should go home."

You--that's what you told him it meant.

That's what I told him. You know, I'm not going to--I had a enough--a little sense. There was some other stupid things you know, that I couldn't comprehend, but I knew that. And uh, slowly they came out uh, sometimes--I don't know--before the ghetto, came out announcements you know, e...everybody had to have a--each household, not only Jews, all the Ukrainians, everybody, had to have on their house a warning, if you hide Jews, Communist--no, if you hide Communists, partisans, Jews or you help them, the family is going to be annihilated you know, killed off.


But some of them hung it out--they hung out--you know, when it came--when it was brought by the--whoever the official brought them. They put them up on the front doors, everybody. And if the wind blew it off, that's tough, if the wind blew it off.

So that's how everybody in the village knew...

The new regulation. This was a new regulation.

A new regulation. And you--and now they could turn you in for, for money as well? Were they getting anything if they turned the Jews in?

Um, did not, no there was no such thing as--no rewards for turning in Jews.


But not at that time.

But there's punishments for hiding them.

Yeah, for hiding Communists, partisans and Jews.


Or whichever order it was. Right before the--this was...

Okay. So now you're twelve now e...eleven or twelve?

No I was still--I...

Or still eleven?

I turned twelve in November--no, I turned eleven in November. Let it ring, doesn't matter.

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