Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Szymon Binke - June 16, 1997


What was the work like in Landshut?

In Landshut we worked on the, on a airport. They had a, they had an airport, it must have been a military airport. We, we did uh, roads like, you know, poured cement and stuff like that.

And were, were you working for the government?

No, I don't know who I worked for.

Was it Operation Todt?

Todt? Yeah, yeah, yeah. Every, every camp we were, the Operation Todt was our uh, they were the uh, the uh, construction people.

And were they wearing uniforms?

Yeah. Yellow uniform.

What was, what were the supervisors like? Did they treat people reasonably well, or did they...

Some of the Todt people weren't bad. They weren't like the SS. Some of 'em were bad, others weren't. Once in a while they'd throw a...

[interruption in interview]

Um, could you tell me again the, who you worked for at Landshut?

In Landshut we worked in the, in the, for a, at, at, at the airport or uh, fixing roads and sidewalks and like cement work. Cold, winter...

And, and this was, this was the organization...

Todt were always our, every, every camp I was in, Todt was the uh, they were the construction supervisors.

And what, what were those supervisors like? Were they like the SS?

No, no, no, no, no. They were, some of 'em were okay. Just made sure you worked, that's all, but they were more human.

And would they occasionally give you something to eat...

Yes, once in a while, yeah. If you caught a good one, yeah, he'd slip you something, a slice of bread or something like that, cigarette butt.

Um, and how long were you at Landshut?

Oh, probably about three months, maybe four months.

And what were the conditions in that camp like?

Tough. It was in the middle of the winter. Uh, the food wasn't good, very, very tight food. We had a bad uh, Lagerführer. Lagerführer is the German, the head man, the head SS man that's in charge of the camp. See, all the Ältester were prisoners, the Führers were all Germans. Uh, he was bad. In fact at one time there was a rumor that the German people in Landshut wanted to take over, just to feed us. They wanted to feed the camp and the SS wouldn't go for it. And at first when we got there they'd come up to the fence and threw some, some food once in a while. But the SS got wind of it and they wouldn't allow 'em to do it.

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