Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Szymon Binke - June 16, 1997

Reactions to the Holocaust

Did you talk to your children about this?

Not at first. After they, yeah, once they got a little older. They kept prying, you know, they, they kept asking.

How many children do you have?


Tell me their names.

Brian is the oldest. He's thirty-seven. I have a daughter, Sherry. She's thirty-four. And I have another son that's thirty-two and daughter and son live in Chicago. The oldest lives here.

Did you tell them when they were younger about...

No. They wouldn't understand it. Why would I tell 'em uh, atrocities like that when they are uh, five, six years old?

So at what point did they start to ask questions?

When they grew up, you know, after, after, after school. Started to go to college, they started hearing, "Hey Dad, you were in it. Why don't you tell us?" and...

You said your daughter is reading...

Yes, she's reading that...

The Łódź Chronicle.


Um, so she must be very interested.


Do you talk about the book?

Mm-hm. She asks me questions, this and that. Some of the stuff that I've read uh, comes back to me, you know, that I'd forgotten.


Like that uh, incident with this uh, excrement uh, that's in the book. And that brought back memories when my father came home one evening and told us so and so got killed today because uh, the guard didn't like the smell of the uh, fertilizer, of the human waste.

And that particular incident is in the book or the...

Yes, I think, yes. That, that incident is, I think is in the book. And it gives the name of the person that got killed, I think.

There is a photograph of the...

Yes. I showed you the photograph of the uh, the wooden barrel on four wheels and...

Why do you think you want to go back now?

I don't know. Just to see it one more time before I die, I guess. Maybe say Kaddish for my mother and sister. I don't want to spend too much time there.

Will you go with your family?

No, I don't think so. I don't know. I don't know if I'm going. I, I never did want to go back. Just the last year or so I started to think about it.

Well, is there anything you want to, to add to this? Something that you might have forgotten or that you think would be important to say?

I don't know. I guess I'm happy to have a good family and good kids. And, leave something.

Okay. Thank you.

Thank you.

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