Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Thoughts While Hiding

Do you remember what was--what used to run through your mind on those--even the three weeks that you were alone or even, even when you were with the family, y...you're in somebody's cellar or a barn at night...

A barn or a stable.

...and it's, um...

A barn or stable, I was, sometimes up in the attic.

And before you, before you fall asleep or whatever you do, did you remember thinking, what's going on here? Why is this happening? Did, did that ever cross your mind?

I used to wonder why they keep me, why they let me in. And I wonder if they're going to turn me in. But I had faith they would not.

But you didn't wonder whether...

I was...

...they were...

I was very di...I was very sure, very uh, adamant they will not turn me in.

But you didn't ask why--you didn't think to yourself, why are they doing this to me?

No, no.

Okay. You knew that already.


You think you knew...

Because I was Jew. It was so plain and simple.

And then, is there a question beyond that, why are they doing this to the Jews?

No. I...


It never--could not--I don't know, I didn't think about it. I was already twelve.

This is when the--the liquidation...

When we were hidden, yeah.


When the, when the liquidation was scheduled. I was already twelve.


But uh, oh, I knew they would not turn me in. The first one that I went to was a young man you know uh, who had married with a little baby. I don't know why my parents picked him, okay. But he came from a big, big family of barons, they're called baron.


Uh, it...

Oh, some landowners, yeah?

No, no.


A little small farm.

Small, okay.

The Ukrainians did not have big land--there were not big landowners. If they had twenty hectares or thirty hectares, they were already upper echelons. But they didn't have...

So you went to--you think your father maybe talked to somebody in the, in the underground and they gave him the names?


No, he just did it on his own?

What, what underground?

The one that would probably kill you.

No, no, no, no, no, no.

No. You wouldn't...


There were--these were...

You could not talk to those guys.

He just knew these individuals.

They knew by uh, between the two of them, between my father and my mother, they knew who would not--I think, who would not turn in.


The fact is that uh you know, we were in hiding, what from sometimes uh, October, September--when was the liquidation in Rovno? I don't remember the dates, okay.

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn