Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Szymon Binke - June 16, 1997

Appell in Birkenau II

What do you suppose happened at the next Appell at the Kinderblock?

That's a good question. They had to come up with a body.

For you?

Right. Oh, that's why. See, they, they started calling a, you know, by the alphabet, a, b, c, you know. Our name is Binke, so naturally we're called one of the first ones. My uncle, the one that didn't survive, that my father's oldest sister's husband, his name was Wolf, W-o-l-f. So he'd be at the end of the line. They needed three thousand people, so probably they uh, picked uh, thirty-five hundred or four thousand because there's always some, they figure some will die during the night. And maybe there was more than just me that did what I did. I don't know. And he got, he didn't come with us. Otherwise he would have been with us.

Did you think you were doing the right thing?

I knew if I went back, I'm dead. Here I had a chance. So, I knew I'd be doing the wrong thing if I went back.

So at, at that point...

Right. See, they didn't care. As long as they have a, a body to count. Whether they, it's dead or alive, they didn't care. I saw peop...I saw, in, in Birkenau I saw the Blockäl...Blockälste kill somebody because he wanted his extra ration, he wanted his bread. It was always, every morning there were bodies also layin' out in front of the, when they, when they head count they counted us and they counted one, two, three whatever. That was part of the...

© Board of Regents University of Michigan-Dearborn