Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Szymon Binke - June 16, 1997

Life After Liberation

Earlier you said you, this is when you became really violent.


In this sort three, three month period.

Mm-hm about, nah, not quite three, but maybe a month or two. We used to...

You were angry.

Yeah. Very angry. We used to uh, ride the train from Feldafing to Munich and throw people off the train if they weren't uh, one of us. You know, just, just looking for trouble. They wouldn't give a, they wouldn't give a lady a seat or something, grab 'em and throw 'em off.

So when you went to Munich, were you looking for, for, for trouble too, as well?

Probably. We just, we didn't even go, we didn't even get off the train. Just ride the train back and forth. But then uh, about two or three months later I then decided to go to school and went to Munich to learn a trade and, you know...

Are you still angry?

I guess not. Can't stay angry for the rest of your life.

Was your father angry too?

At first we were all angry, yes.

At who? Just Germans in general?



More so.



After, after Feldafing, where did you wind up?

We stayed in Feldafing 'til I came here.

So you came right to the United States from there?

Yes. Well, from Bremen, Bremerhaven, you know. From Feldafing we went to Bremen which is near Hamburg and caught a ship and came over here.

Did you ever consider going back to Łódź ?

Not until the last year or so. I'd like to see it one more time. I'd like to see Łódź, I'd like to go on back and see uh, Auschwitz, Birkenau.

But after the war...

No. Never had a desire to go back.

Not even, you were certain that your mother had died?

Oh yeah, we knew that, yeah. Because by then we, we found this aunt that went with them and she knew that uh, they went with the kids.

Did you think about going to Israel?

I, what, to live?

To live, yes.


You never...

I did that one time, yes. I was already on a, on a, it must have been in '46 or '47 I was already on a truck to, to go. I told them I didn't have anybody, I was alone. 'Til somebody must have told my father. He came and dragged me off the truck.

Was this the Haganah?


Were they training you?


So this was a serious commitment?

Yes, yes, yes, yes. Taught me how to use a gun and everything.

All clandestinely?


And your father wanted to come to the United States?

At that time, no. He didn't want to go anywhere, yet. But he didn't want to go to Israel. Well, but he, he probably did want to go, come to the United States, because he had an aunt here. He knew he had an aunt. We never got in touch with her then, by then yet, but he knew she was here, my, my stepmother's sister, which was also a cousin.

So when did you, when did you get to, to New York?

1950. March, 1950.

And until then you were in...

Feldafing, Germany, yeah.

Feldafing. What was it like living in a, in a DP camp all that time?

It was all right. You had food.

How many in a room?

We didn't care. In the, in the villa it wasn't bad. It was about maybe five, six of us in a room. We also had uh, uh, these bunk beds.

But there was indoor plumbing this time.

Yeah, but not very long. It was too many people. It's always plugged up.

But better than the ghetto.

Oh yeah, yeah.

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