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Edith Goldberg

Journey by Kindertransport

Edith Goldberg (left) with her mother and sister in the early 1930s. (c) HSFA
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Edith was born in a small German village to a Jewish family. Edith and her younger sister came to England on a Kindertransport to escape the threat of Nazism.

 

“And I’ve been, as I say, I was lucky. Maybe that’s why I am how I am, because a lot of children weren’t as lucky.”

 

Childhood in Germany

Edith was born in Teschenmoschel, a small village, in 1928, to a Jewish family of farmers. The village had a small Jewish community with a synagogue and a Jewish cemetery. Edith had a happy childhood with her parents and sister, and spent happy days hay-making in the summer and tobogganing in the winter.

After 1933 life began to change for Edith’s family when Hitler came to power. Her family’s business, a small village shop, eventually had to close because people would no longer buy from Jewish people. Many of the Jewish people in the village emigrated, but Edith’s mother was responsible for elderly relatives in the village which made leaving hard to consider. On Kristallnacht in November 1938 plain clothes officers took her father and uncle away in the middle of the night. They returned a few weeks later, but they were quiet and wouldn’t talk about their experiences.

Edith and her family.

Kindertransport

After Kristallnacht Edith’s mother was working very hard to try and get her daughters out of Germany. She contacted a refugee committee in England who were able to find families in Leeds, neighbours, who were willing to take Edith and her sister.

Edith’s parents took their daughters to Frankfurt to join a Kindertransport with other children. The young girls were put into the care of two 16-year-old girls. Edith remembered her mother crying and her father looking stern. On the train the children were searched by Nazi officials for any valuables. Edith managed to hide a small ring and necklace that her mother had given her.

After the train they were taken by boat to Harwich in England. Edith had never been on a boat before, and despite the calm crossing was very seasick. When they arrived in Harwich they were taken to Leeds to meet their new foster families.

Edith, her mother and her sister.

Leeds

Edith lived with Mr and Mrs Craskin, and her sister lived next door with the Bloomfields. 3 days after their arrival in Leeds they started at Cowper Street School. The girls couldn’t speak any English when they started, but quickly learned. Edith was happy with her foster family but her sister wasn’t. After the war her sister moved to Belgium to live with cousins.

Edith left school when she was 14 and started working at Schofields, a prestigious department store in Leeds. She became naturalised and met her husband, Jack, whilst he was on leave from the army. Edith and Jack were happily married for over 60 years.

 

“I was very lucky, I came to a very good family … The whole family took me in as a part of the family, not just them, all the cousins and everybody, and I’m still very friendly with them.”

 

The Holocaust

Edith returned to her home village on several occasions but was only able to find out a little information about her family’s fate. Both her mother and father were taken to Camp de Gurs in 1940 then onto Auschwitz-Birkenau in 1942, where they were both murdered.

 

Edith sadly passed away in 2013 and is greatly missed.

Edith and her husband, Jack

 

To learn more about Edith’s story visit The Holocaust Exhibition and Learning Centre. For more information click here

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Videos (7)

Edith's story: growing up

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Edith's story: living under the Nazis

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Edith's story: Kindertransport

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Edith's story: settling in Leeds

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Edith's story: work and romance

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Edith's story: return to Germany

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Edith's story: speaking out

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