Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Moving from Place to Place

Polish estate.

And uh, well somehow they miscalculated and we ended up in this man's barn without his permission, without his knowledge, in early morning. So we got into this barn and we stayed there, okay? And uh, we couldn't--my parents could not find a place, no one would let--you know, would accept them...


...for boarders or, or for where the hiding place was. So we stayed in this Mr. Schuster, the Czech. And uh, we stayed in his barn.

Okay. So we've--we've got Stark...

Stark, yes.


Stark, then it's...



...and Schuster? Three names that you've given me of people who, who hid you.

Czepko did not hide us. We--Czepko only taught us how to--we were still walking back and forth to work.

Okay, okay. But three people...

But we were in this barn, you know the first barn where my father was with my brother, where I had met him and where Uncle Chaim came and then my mother came.


This--we were in that barn with anybody's knowledge.

Including Schuster.

No, Schuster is way over there.


Schuster ??? and Bir...there in, in uh, Birmingham, on a farm.


Okay. Way out. And Schuster is uh, how should I say, in relations to Stark's place you know, the, the estate is like uh, three miles east of there or south--no, actually three miles south from the--where we hiding.


So the first barn, the man didn't know. He found us by accident. That's why we had to leave to go to Stark's. So we end up at Schuster's without his permission but uh, you know, he found us anyway. He says, "Oh, you want to stay, stay. I don't care."

Had--had you been there before, so Schuster's house?

When we were free.

But I mean, not, not...

We never...

...since you'd been in hiding?

...as hiding? No, we were not there before.

Another person who your father and mother knew?

Yeah, they knew them. They knew each other. And we--I don't know what happened, guess we were sitting there the side of the barn because it was warm and sunny. And it's the middle of nowhere, you know? I was looking out so nobody come. Guess who comes to that farm? Ivan! And he finds us.

Was he looking for you?


He just found--okay.

By accident. So we were sitting you know, by the--outside then, he was talking and uh, and uh, discussing and I don't know, whatever they were talking was boring so you, you went back, you came back out you know, from the barn. And he says to me, "Oh man," he says, "you have long hair. You need--you haven't had a hair cut in a long time." I don't know. I never--since September you know, since that...

Did you...

...when we ran away from home until then must have been, what uh, about uh, seven, eight months. Sure I didn't get a haircut. I didn't even take a shower. We were sitting there and take off the shirt because it was warm enough, killing lice, because we all, we all had lice.

Because of...

We had no place to wash.

Even when you stayed, stayed in a home, you still also had lice?

What home?

As opposed to a barn, something you ???...

We never stayed in home.

You never stayed in somebody's house.

No, no...

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