Had a most amazing radio interview with a Holocaust survivor, Thursday. Danny Goldsmith is a strong, healthy 86, with vivid memories of his boyhood in Belgium, the Nazi occupation, and his survival.
As a Jewish child, he made it though due to the ingenuity of his mother, personal courage and Catholics who sheltered him and many other Jews in the early days of the war that began in Europe in 1939.
What came through in his story was the innocence of young children who did not, or could not, comprehend that because they were Jewish their troubles were mounting, their relatives disappearing, their lives in jeopardy, their freedom crushed.
Danny’s father was sent to a work camp one day, and except a single postcard, was never heard from again — killed at Auschwitz. His mother put her children in the care of a Catholic family and joined the Underground fighting the Nazi invaders.
He recalls the vivid details of that time long ago – the fear and escape, sanctuary and separation – from parents, his sister, his friends. And the time spent on the move and sheltered at various times in a convent, a rectory and attending Catholic school.
As a Holocaust survivor — and their numbers are dwindling — Danny and a few others have been taking their Holocaust stories to students in schools in and around Bucks County. No book can re-create the personal experience, the moving story of someone catapulted from childhood to adulthood in a few years – a story Danny Goldsmith delivers. But there are no words, printed or spoken to describe the evil inhumanity of the Holocaust. It remains in the eyes of the beholder.
I can only imagine how strong a child – and blessed – he must have been to come away from that time at peace with the world. As always WBCB appreciates Danny’s generosity with his time and value the message.