Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Szymon Binke - June 16, 1997

Discussing Fate of Family

Once, once you got to Kaufering or even on the train or even in Birkenau, did, did you and your father ever talk about what might have happened to your mother and your sister?

We talked about 'em, but uh, we didn't expect uh, we still didn't know what happened to them.

So did you think that they might be alive?


Even in, even when you were in these camps?

Later on we heard that people coming, you know, from the older uh, uh, prisoners they knew more about it, they knew what was happening in Birkenau then.

No, no one at Birkenau said anything like...

Not to us. But my aunt, well which I met after the war, she says they told my, my mother and her sister and her sister-in-law, you know to, "give up the kids" or they are gonna get killed. So apparently somebody told them.

But no one said they were going through the chimney or anything like that to you?

Not, not to my knowledge, no.

When you began to think that they might have been killed, what, what kinds of things went through your head?

What kind of things. What can you do? I was angry, bitter. In fact, I uh, after the war for the first few months I was uh, uh, very aggressive, very animalistic.


Towards Germans.

Violently you mean?

Violent, yes.

This was around Seeshaupt?

After Seeshaupt probably, yeah. In Seeshaupt I wasn't very long, because my father got sick. I think he had typhus. And we wound up in the hospital in Bad Tölz, T-o-l-t-z, which probably was right around there. Oh there we met one person that was shot in the mouth, in his throat or something because they were gonna take us into the Tyrol mountains. They had ditches dug already, line us up and kill us and bury us. Well, he was one of the people that arrived and he, I guess they shot him and, but didn't kill him and he was found after the war still alive. I, he, I don't know if he was Jewish or not, I can't remember. But I remember him being there. He was shot someplace in the throat.

So when you were in Bad Tölz you...

I was in, in, in, in hospital. Because my father was sick.

Your encounter, you encountered Germans there?

Yeah, yeah. All the doctors and yes, nurses were German.

And you and you were violent towards them?

I don't think not yet, then. Not yet. After I got out of there. In Feldafing.

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