Elza Binder Diary

On 31st March, a search for the handicapped and old people began, and thousands of the healthy, the young and the viable were taken away.

Wide 14 05

On 31st March, a search for the handicapped and old people began, and thousands of the healthy, the young and the viable were taken away. Through the window of the attic, where we were hiding I saw the transports of Hungarian Jews from whom they liberated Rudolfsmühle, I saw children from an orphanage wrapped in sheets. The view was lighted by the houses burning around the ghetto. I heard the shots, the cries of children and mothers and the Germans banging on the door of the neighboring houses. We survived. [...]

 

On Sunday morning we ran [to be registered]. And knowing that they were keeping young people and children, despite Dora’s fear, we entered. At the last moment I gave her a mouthful and told her she was a hysteric seeing her trembling unnaturally. „I’m so terribly afraid that I’m shrinking inside,” were her last words. I replied that I was too even though I was quite calm. I encouraged her by saying that Dad was with her, and so was I. She went first and got a „C” changed to „B” and crossed out to „C” again. We saw that. Dad spoke, and they almost kept him too. And a period about which we cannot write began. Despair! [...]

 

Between despair and hope, four days and four nights passed without end. Letters came ranging between bagging for liberation, for help and consoling us. „Be strong”, my sister would write, “they won’t shoot us, they’ll send us to work”. And on the side, quietly, ”I’m so struggling”. Within this period of time they chose others. Unfortunately, we did not make it. Forgive us my sister.

 

Elza Binder (Eliszewa), 14th May 1942, Stanisławów

E. Binder, J. Feuerman, “Two Diaries from Witnesses and Victims of Extermination of the Jews of Stanislawow, 2011”, Montreal 2008; diary from JHI collection.

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