Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Szymon Binke - June 16, 1997

Appell in Birkenau

There were six of you.

Right. But we went out of Birkenau five of us. He didn't--see, when--then after, I'll come to that story why he didn't get out of that. When, when, when they took us into camp after the bath and all this they gave us new, this uh, striped clothing and everything, they put us into a camp and they put them in one block, put me and a block means a building, they put me in a different building, in the youth building. And uh, one morning I wake up and I used to always hang out. I would be here for the, for the head count and, and uh, and uh, and they had three or four head counts every day and we knew what time they are gonna be, so I'd come back to be counted and then I'd go and be with them, which was just like across the road. So uh, one morning I get up and I go to the, to their building and there's nobody there. I ask questions, nobody knows what happened. So I started to, it was a very big camp, I started to walk around and I see a fenced off area and a bunch of people on the other side of the fence. So somehow I jumped the fence and got in there and I started to ask what building they were from and uh, it was the same building that, I think it was Block 10 they called it and some of 'em were from that building. So I started to look and sure enough I found them. And uh, so my dad was shocked to see me. "How'd you get here?" and I says, "Well, I couldn't find you there, so I came here." He says, "No, you better go back to, to your uh, building," because uh, during the night, they, they took them the night before in the evening they took 'em on that field. I guess they went through a medical doctor supposedly, looked at 'em and gave 'em, took their names and birth date and so on. And uh, you know, they put 'em in that fenced off area. And he says, "You, you didn't go through that. You won't be able to go with us." I says, "I can't go back, because I missed already one or two head counts. I'll get killed. So I'll take my chances here." So then uh, probably towards around early afternoon they start calling names and as they called your name you had to give your birth date and you run across a field maybe 200 feet. And you lined, they lined up over there. So they were calling names. Naturally they're not gonna call my name uh, because I wasn't on there. Well after they had about two thousand people on the other field, they called a name and the person probably died during the night or something and nobody answered and I started to yell, but I didn't know his uh, birth date, so I made out like I'm saying something, but then I started to run. And they started to chase me because I couldn't give 'em the uh, uh, birth date. By the time, well, I got there first and there were two thousand people over there and I got lost. How are they gonna find me? Everybody's dressed the same way and so that's how I got out of uh, Birkenau. And then after the war I met somebody that told me the building I was in, about two or three days after we left they took all the kids out of there and don't know what happened to 'em. Well, now we know what happened to 'em.

It was the Kinderblock?


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