Oral History Interview with Daniel Goldsmith

Daniel Goldsmith, born in Antwerp, Belgium on December 11, 1931 to Polish parents; being raised Orthodox and being educated at a Yeshiva; living in Antwerp under German occupation and suffering under the ever-increasing anti-Jewish measures; his father being transported to a labor camp in France in August 1942 and never hearing from him again; his mother, Ruchel Goldschmidt, who was in contact with the Belgian underground and managed to get some money, safeguard their possessions, and find a hiding place just before and while the Germans raided their neighborhood and ransacked Jewish-owned houses; the Belgians who pointed out Jewish residents; the several instances when Belgians cooperated with the Germans; examples of aid given by non-Jewish Belgians, especially Father André (who was recognized as a “Righteous Gentile”) and other Catholic clergy and nuns; his mother’s work with the underground; being placed with his sister in a convent, then with Christian families after their mother found out the Germans would enter the convent to look for Jewish children; being in a succession of orphanages in Weelde and Mechelen, run by Father Cornelius, from 1943 to 1944, while his sister lived with another Christian family; getting false baptismal papers, changing his name, and living as a Catholic; refusing to convert to Catholicism; how in May 1944 the Germans imprisoned all circumcised boys in the orphanage, then transported them on cattle cars with Jewish children; escaping with several other boys from the moving train and managing to contact a priest who placed each of them in hiding with a different Christian family; how Monsieur and Madame Botier hid Daniel and were kind to him and worked to reunite him with his mother after liberation in September 1944; various placements post liberation, especially in Aische En Refail, Belgium; a French committee that collected hidden Jewish children for Aliyah Bet; his mother receiving an injury during an air raid and not being able to take care of her children at that time; how difficult and painful it was for all parties, especially his sister, when his mother wanted to reclaim her daughter from the Christian family that sheltered her for three years; going to the United States in April 1948 with his mother and his sister; being sponsored by his father’s family; his family’s life shortly after they arrived in the US; and his own life from that time to the present.

Date: 02/06/1995
Interviewer: Edith Millman
Interviewee: Daniel Goldsmith
Language: English
Subject: Antisemitism--Belgium.
Baptismal certificates--Forgeries--Belgium.
Hidden children (Holocaust)--Belgium.
Holocaust survivors.
Holocaust, Jewish (1939-1945)--Belgium--Personal narratives.
Identification cards--Forgeries--Belgium.
Jewish children in the Holocaust.
Jews, Polish--Belgium.
Jews--Legal status, laws, etc.--Belgium.
Passing (Identity)--Belgium.
Righteous Gentiles in the Holocaust--Belgium.
World War, 1939-1945--Jews--Rescue--Belgium.
World War, 1939-1945--Underground movements--Belgium.
Men--Personal narratives.
Location: Antwerp, Belgium
Weelde, Belgium
Mechelen, Belgium
Permalink: https://hoha.digitalcollections.gratzcollege.edu/item/oral-history-interview-with-daniel-goldsmith/