Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Szymon Binke - June 16, 1997

Relations With non-Jews

What, what did your father do?

My father had a uh, uh, feed store, you know uh, uh, animal feed, food and uh, grain. He, we lived on the outskirts of town and uh, the farmers used to stop before going into the city, so he'd buy off the grains from 'em and send it to an elevator and so, you know and uh, have it uh, ground up. Sell the flour to the uh, bakeries and uh, there is some, like the hulls of the uh, of the grain, you feed this to cattle and horses and sell it in our store.

So he must have had dealings with Polish non-Jewish...

Polish and Germans, yes. Mostly, yes, most of the dealings were with, except for the bakers. You know, the bakers that he sold the flour to, a lot of 'em were Jewish because that was in city, but the farmers were all uh, either, mostly Germans. A lot of Germans.


Volksdeutsche, yes.

And what were the relations like between...

Very good. Very good. They grew up together. My father used to go there when he was four or five years old. You know, that's, uh, that's why we got stuck in, in, in Poland, because uh, my father used to do business during the First World War and it was also the Germans that invaded uh, came into Poland. And he said, "Well, heh-heh, survived the First World War." Soldiers got killed, but he wasn't a soldier. He said, "It's the same Germans, they're not gonna bother anybody."

So he must have had several Polish or, or German friends.

Oh yes, a lot of them, yes.

And do you remember any, any incidents of anti-Semitism?

Just that one time I remember where uh, they had this party, there was uh, like a field and they used to have dances and parties and this one group had a party at night and I think we must have expected problems, because we never used to close the uh, shutters, you know, there used to be heavy wooden shutters on uh, on the windows, on the outside on hinges. And that night we, we did close the shutters and they were throwing rocks at 'em and I think they broke a window from I guess the vibration, no stones came through into the house.

Do you remember when that was?

Whew! God, it must have been '38 if I could remember. Otherwise I wouldn't have remembered it. Around '38 probably.

And who, who was celebrating? Who was...

This uh, they were a rea...real right-wing organization. They called themself Narodowcy.

Which means what?

Narod is uh, is, is, is, is uh, like Volkswagen, you know, v...volk? That would be Narod in Polish.

So like the people.

People's Party or something, yeah.

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