Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Martin Koby - April 20, 1999

Pre-War Life

No, no the--I want to know about the village before the war.

The village?

Yeah. You went...

The majority was--yeah?

You went to school?

Well, yes, I went to school. Sure.

It was a Polish school.

Public--it was a public school.

And you, and you spoke Polish?

Yeah. We, we spoke Polish and we spoke Ukrainian, because the ???--don't forget, this was uh, a majority of the people in the village--ninety percent of the village was U...maybe eighty-nine, maybe eighty-seven--because we had a part of the village was Czechs. Czechs lived in part of the village.

Wow. Yeah.

So there were two schools. There were the lower grades and the higher grades. Seven years schooling you know, that was the norm, seven years.

And then gymnasium.

Then uh, if you were lucky uh, and you had the money and the parents could send you to gymnasium, you had to go to the city. There was--that was it s...seven grades and that's...

Seven grades and, and, uh...

In our village.

Okay. And the name of the village again?



That's our...

Okay. Now, at home, what did you speak?

Yiddish. We always spoke to our parents Yiddish, okay.

But Pol...Polish and Ukrainian was at school?

Polish was at school. And then every day in the street, Polish only in school. Who are you going to speak Polish with?

So it's Ukrainian?

There was very few Poles.

Ukrainian in the streets.

Yes. Everything, my friends and the whole shebang was Ukrainian.


And the house Yiddish. With my relatives and the other Jews, Yiddish.

You had Ukrainian friends?

Well, sure.

Non-Jewish friends.

Non-Jewish friends, yeah. I had non-Ukrainian friends and I had uh, Polish friends and I had Czech friends.

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