Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Getting a Haircut

So you were always in a barn or a stable?

Well, we had lice in about a week, you have--we were full of lice.


Okay. And we're talking, he said "You know, tomorrow I'm going to come back and I'm going to give you a haircut." Now, this man, with a beautiful sense of humor. Oh, what are we going to do? We have nowheres to go and Ivan might go in the village and blabble and they're going to come and then it was upon us, we finally lost our lives. Guess what? Next day, this horse and buggy is coming. The only person on the wagon they esta...they establish is Ivan, no one else. He didn't bring us--he didn't bring anybody with. But maybe somebody might come and sneak up.

That's how you thought those days.

Yeah, that's the--that was the thinking.


So we sat in the--always somebody was in the barn looking out you know, to see as far as from where an enemy might come.


No one came. And he brought a pair of scissors.

And he cut your hair?

And he cut my hair with a pair of scissors. A barber he was not. But I can't imagine what it was you know, that--he says, "Well," he said, "I did an excellent job." My father was sitting there. He--and uh, me and my brother and Tante Chyka, okay? Or was...

You said...

...it my mother? Okay. One of us--one of them was looking out to make sure that he didn't blabble and somebody's coming.


So he says and I remember, he says, "Moshka," he says, "now you are able to climb the ladder to heaven and complain to God about your fate." Now, this is not a man--a plain peasant, okay? A poor peasant, with a, with a compassionate humor.

And what did you say to him when he said that to you?

I didn't say nothing.

What did you think?

I thought it was funny, you know. How can--you know, well uh, how can I go? How can I complain? Who's God? You know, where is he? How far is it, the--how high is it?

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