Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Szymon Binke - June 16, 1997

Liquidation of the Ghetto

Anything else about the ghetto, that, as it, as it got smaller? Did you, did you...

The area didn't get smaller.

But the number of people did.

The number of people got smaller, yes.

Now you said you started out with twelve people in one room.

Right. Then we, then we found a room where just uh, our family lived in the room. Because the building started to get uh, empty. So we took another room.

Did, did you have any idea where these people were disappearing to?

Well, a lot of 'em died, a lot of 'em were being uh, uh, uh, displaced into, you know, they picked 'em up. We didn't know. No, we didn't know where they were going.

You never heard of Auschwitz?

No. We didn't hear of any of the camps. My uncle, the, the one that's in Israel, he went, oh way at the beginning probably, 1941 or '42 maybe, he went to a work camp to Czestochowa. And we heard from him maybe once or twice, wrote letters and then he, we didn't hear from him and uh, he wound up in Buchenwald and survived. But those people, they, well, they took him because he was a baker. Apparently they needed a baker and they, they took people that had a trade.

Do you remember what happened when they began to liquidate the ghetto?

Oh, then they took everybody, whoever they could.

How did that, that come about?

Well, they came to a house and emptied it. To a building and they, they just emptied it, went room, room by room.

The Germans did.

Yes. German and Jewish police.



So where were you when they were...

Well, a lot of times I was hiding in this field like I told you on this uh, where my father used to work, here. They had, they had corn growing. No, not corn. Rye. Rye is tall and I'd get in there and hide. Until, I don't remember, like I told you before, I don't remember where we were when we got caught. That whole day is a blank to me. I don't remember gettin' on the train. I remember being on the train from Łódź to uh, Birkenau, Auschwitz. But I don't remember gettin' caught or gettin' on the train. So I don't know where we were when we got caught.

You knew enough to hide.

Oh yeah!

Rather than be taken...

We must have been hidden someplace. But they, they, they found us.

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