Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Motivations of Mr. Zummer

Why the--why...

Why people did things like that?

Like that, that, that he...

Well, we were there for...

...he saved you, he betrayed this other family.

Yes. And he--it's a very big mystery. We were there--we stayed there for a while and he disappeared somewheres. You know, he was gone one day, two day, three day--two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, five weeks. And he--his wife used to always bring us the food, okay? We always got a pot of porridge, a vegetable soup, okay?


Every day. She would bring it, open up the hatch, pour the pigs a little bit and leave it there and then we fetched it. It was good.

And you were staying in the, the...

No, no. We were in a pigeon cove. Mr. Zummer, young Mr. Zummer, his father built him a pigeon cove above his pigs, a pigsty you know, a pigsty. When Dwora uh, what was it, Dvor...Dwork?

Dwork, yeah.

Deb...Debórah Dwork .

Debórah Dwork, yeah.

You know, where she wrote her book you know, The Hidden Children book?

Right, yeah.

Well, she was--had a little symposium in one of the synagogues in--in--in the Detroit area. And uh, she had--she asked me, "Would you mind coming you know uh, and participate in the symposium?" "I have never been in you know, in anything like that. What am I going to say?" "Whatever you want to say, or whatever you have to say you know, whatever people want to know."

You're in the book, in The Children of the Star.

Yeah, for one, for one crazy reason. I had an interv...I talk--talked with her like I'm talking with you.


And uh, I went to the synagogue, there at the temple. And my wife came and I think one of my kids. And there was--it was a nice crowd. Uh, talking, tell you stories--I tell you a little story. And I got on the stage you know, was it, in front of a table. I was shivering a little bit of--public speaking. Although I had a speech class for two terms of speech in sch...in Wayne State University, that does not prepare you to go and speak in front of a uh, public. And these other two people were saying their thing and I was the third person. And I was sitting there and this thought occurred to me. A Jewish man--here's a Jewish man, a Jewish person, right? Uh, observes kashrut to some extent, doesn't eat pork or pork stuff. And he survived in company of pigs?


We were one, two, three places out of the--one, two, three, four, five, six.

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