Voice/Vision Holocaust Survivor Oral History Archive

Szymon Binke - June 16, 1997

The Łódź Ghetto

When, when were you moved into the ghetto and how did you find out you had to move?

There were uh, they, they put on, they put out uh, announcements. You know, not in the paper naturally. They had announcements on, on the walls, "All Jews have to go into this and this area by May," I think May the first of 1940. Well, May the first of 1940 the ghetto was closed up. By then everybody had to be in already, so it must have started before that.

So do you remember the day you left your house?

That would be tough. No. I do remember uh, my father, they were loading up a, a, a big wagon, horse-drawn wagon, with all our furniture and sending it out to uh, to one of the farmers in uh, in uh, in a village to, for safekeeping, because we knew where we moved in, we won't have any room for that furniture, because we wound up twelve of us in one room where my grandfather used to live or my grandfather's family.

So what did you take with you?


Just clothing.

Yeah. None of the furniture. None.

And did you ever see the furniture again?


So you, you moved into the, you walked I assume to the, to the ghetto?


And you moved into, was somebody already living there?

Yeah. My, my, my grandfather's family.

So you moved into the same...



...apartment, yeah. It was apartment. It's a one room. And like I told you, there were, there were uh, let's see four of us and three of my, you know the aunt that lived across the street from us, that's seven and five their family. By then my grandfather was dead already. My grandfather passed away January the eleventh, 1939.

A natural...

Natural death, yeah, cancer.

Uh, so you, your little sister who was roughly a year old...

A year, less than a year old, yeah.

Your parents.

Oh yeah, she was a year, almost a year, yeah.

Aunts and uncles?

Well, my aunt and uncle that lived across the street from us. You know, my father's sister, the oldest one and her daughter and her husband. We all moved into my grandparents' home.

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