Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Szymon Binke - June 16, 1997


Um, tell me something about your, what you remember about your childhood. Did you have lots of friends? Did you play soccer? Did you...

Yes, yes, yes. I had it all mostly Polish friends until I started to go school, but then in school they were all Jewish. Like I told you, it was a parochial Jewish school, but I only had the uh, they were friends, school friends. When I came home they weren't around. Unless I went to see my grandfather on a weekend or something, I'd uh, I might meet some of them.

Now was this a function of the neighborhood you lived in? Were there lots of Jews around where you lived?

No, not where we lived. We didn't have any Jews. We were the only...

Can you show me where on a map?

Uh, I have to go, let's see, where's Brzezinśka, Brzezinśka, this map doesn't go far enough. This is the ghetto map, right?


Okay. Here is the, I had it when I spoke to you the last time. It must be around here, oh yeah. See, this is, right here, right where the ci...where the city ends, right past the Catholic cemetery. There is a Jewish cemetery on this side, in fact, our shul was right over here and uh, then there is a Catholic cemetery. We lived past the Catholic cemetery right on a, on a border. Our house was uh, uh, Brzezinśka one hundred and sev...number 171 and Szosa Brzezinśka number 1. In other words, ours was the, the, the, the last house of the city and the first house of...Sikava probably would be the next uh, but we still had, we still were in Łódź.

And where was the, was there a Jewish neighborhood in Łódź?

Well yeah. The Jewish neighborhood is this, the BaŁuty.



Can we see another, on the other map?

On this one? Well, go back to Brzezinśka, right around here probably. Oh here, right here, BaŁut...yeah, right here. They have it. Well, this is the ghetto, but this was the Jewish area, yeah, BaŁuty.

So that's, was that a significant walk to get to the Jewish neighborhood?

From our house?


We took uh, uh, the uh, streetcar. In fact, the streetcar only went up to here, to the uh, Catholic cemetery. I still had to walk about a kilometer or something. What does it say, show here? A thousand meter, yeah. Well, no, probably half a kilometer.

So you had all these non-Jewish friends...


Um, and...

...but I was young. I was only, when the war broke out I was only seven years old.

And you don't remember any, any anti-Semitic incidents with...

Against me? No, not, not from the kids, no.

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