Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Szymon Binke - June 16, 1997

Father's Job in Camp

These were German civilians.

German civilians, yes. Then my father, may he rest in peace, he was on a, on a work detail that were burying the dead. And they used to go out at night, because we had to go, they had to go through the town. They, they, they, they pushed a pushcart with uh, dead bodies and I guess the SS didn't want to see, they didn't want the uh, civilian population to see us, so they used to do it at night. And after a while I guess some of the people found, found out what route the, they took and they'd find uh, pieces of food layin' on, in the street.

You had said your father worked on this Kommando and there was...

And he'd also say Kaddish.

For the dead bodies.

For the dead, yes. Yeah. In fact they, the, the, that was some of the uh, uh, German guards allowed him to say Kaddish. Yeah. They called him "The Rabbi."

So before he would bury them he would say Kaddish?


Were, were you in the same barracks with your father at this time?

Yeah, there yes.

And did this affect him in some way?

Oh, sure. He tell us about it, yeah. Yeah, but this, this Totenkommando didn't go out every day. He had another job. Whenever they had enough bodies to load up a, they'd, they'd uh, go out maybe two, three times a week, you know, at night. But that, that only took two or three hours, so he had to go to work anyway for a, you know, on the different uh, with us.

So would he get extra rations for this?


Just did it to do?

Yeah, yeah.

Any, any particular events at Landshut that stand out?

It was very cold, very tough winter. The uh, we had the uh, one, one building was a washroom, you know, the pipe with some hoses where you could wash your hands and face. And, and it froze up. We couldn't wash. We used to go out in the, in the snow, deep, deep snow, we used to have snow and wash in snow in the morning. Bad. Conditions were very bad there. But uh, because it was winter. The winter was tough. In the barracks was okay because uh, we had a lot of people in, in the barracks so, you know, body heat. I don't remember if, I can't remember any heating uh, I don't think we had any he...heating units in the...

What were the sleeping conditions like there?

Well uh, uh, you know, on straw and, and, and uh, uh, cots.


Wooden. Yeah, yeah.

Not on the floor like in Kaufering?

No, no, no. There we had already cots, yeah. But not like they, they show it now in, in uh, in Dachau. We didn't have those. We had shelves like. We put some straw on it and...


Yeah. Yeah...

And lice?

...each had a blanket, yeah.

But there were lice.

Yeah. That too. Plenty. More lice than blanket. I guess that maybe kept you warm too.

Uh, and from Landshut where?

Uh, Mühldorf. Yeah, that was my last one.

Also by train, or did you walk?

I think by train.

Do you remember that train trip?

It was a short, I, that, I can't remember that. If, if it was by train it was very short.

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