Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Szymon Binke - June 16, 1997


Did you like school?


Um, both parts of it?

It was a little too long, but we, we had no choice. There was no uh, you knew you had to go and that was it.

So would you characterize your life before the war as uh, what, middle class?

Very, yeah, probably upper-middle class, yeah. Because uh, going to that school cost quite a bit of money in those days, so I'd have to be in the upper class. Usually you'd go to a public school in the morning and go to cheder in the afternoon three, four hours. But to have to go to one school and get both educations was quite costly.

Do you remember the name of the school?

Litvin. The, the, the, the person that owned it had uh, he was the Rabbi and had two sons. They taught you the uh, uh, they were educated in, in, in both Hebrew and Polish, you know, they and then I think they had a lady that was a teacher. But apparently it was uh, uh, uh, with, you know, it was uh, it was accepted by the city because uh, you could finish school there and go on to a high education.

I, I think, I may have asked you. It wasn't a Katzenelson school, was it? Katzenelson?


It was also a parochial school in Łódź. So it was the Litvin school.

Litvin, yeah. It was uh, right on Brzezinśka and Kościelna. It's right probably around here. Here, it was, it was I think number 3 Brzezinśka, number 5 Brzezinśka someth...number 3, I believe and it starts, number 1 starts at, at, at the, at this here and goes on in higher numbers. Ours was 171. Now see in Łódź the numbers don't jump like they do here. They jump just two. You have the odd side and the even side. But like you'll have 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 on one side and you have 1, 3, 5, 7 on the other side.

Would you take a streetcar every morning?

Sure. Oh yeah.

By yourself?


At age six.


It was safe.

Oh yeah. Nobody even thought about, uh....

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