Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Szymon Binke - June 16, 1997

Mühldorf II

And in, in Mühldorf did you, did you encounter Wehrmacht as well?

The last few weeks I think. We had some, we, we started gettin' some old, older uh, guards and I believe they were from the Wehrmacht. They weren't, in fact, one day I'm going on that uh, command, on that work detail and we, we took a chance, you know, because the guard seemed halfway decent. Instead of taking a long way, it was about a seven kilometer uh, walk to work and back, so we took a shortcut going through a farmer's uh, yard and there's this doghouse and a big dog in front of it chewing on a bone. Well, one of us, I can't remember it was me or somebody, somebody scared the dog away and stole the bone from him. The dog ran away from him.

And ate the bone.

And ate the bone, yes.

And do you think people were still behaving like the animals, the way you said before? You said...


When you were in, in Mühldorf.

Oh yeah, yeah.

Nobody watched out for anybody except for family.

No, no. Family, yes. Well, our family was close. Well, we, there's, in Mühldorf there were only three of us, Sol, my, my oldest uncle now that survived, my father and I.

And do you know what kind of things they were working on in Mühldorf?

Also underground uh, factories. If you didn't have a, a, a work detail like we had, you, you were carrying uh, cement or mixing cement or you know.

And what were the conditions like there?

Same as everywhere else. There we had a, I remember we had a, a coal-fired uh, stove in the middle of the barracks and were heated. I remember that. Because we used to steal a potato once in a while and we used to bake it or cook it in, in that. So I remember we had fire in those.

Was that a delicacy?

Oh! Anything was a delicacy. Anything you could consume was a delicacy. You didn't go for luxurious things. Anything you could uh, put in your mouth was uh, uh, prolonged your life uh, for the next uh, day or so.

Were you thinking...

My father had dysentery and a lot of people died from that in, in, in Mühldorf. And next to our camp was a Russian prisoner camp. They got some rations, they got some packages from the Red Cross. And I remember in, in, in Europe they used to tell you if you, if you have uh, uh, dysentery you, you eat uh, uh, co...cocoa. You know, cocoa from, you just eat it with water or something and you drink it you'll, it, it stops the dysentery. And I bought some cocoa for my father from a Russian prisoner. You know, we smuggled it across the, the fence. Because there the fences weren't uh, uh, there was no electricity in those fences. And uh, I can't remember what I gave him, probably gave him a piece of bread or some potatoes or something. He gave me a little package of this uh, and my father just ate it as a powder and it helped him. It stopped the dysentery.

How did you find out that the Russians had cocoa?

Uh, we, we found out that they were gettin', that they got that, they weren't gettin' it steady. They got this uh, Red Cross packages and they had either chocolate or cocoa or you know something that...

That, that probably saved your father's life.

Yeah. Yeah.

And at Mühldorf were there more piles of bodies and was there...

Uh, there already, they used to bury 'em, because I guess it, it wasn't uh, winter anymore. It's already spring by then.

But were there heavy casualties there?

Yes, yes, yes.

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