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Evelyn Goldstein Woods papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2004.658.1

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    Overview

    Description
    The collection consists of papers pertaining to Evelyn Goldstein and her parents, Herta Loschinski Goldstein and Ernst Goldstein, as well as the following family members and friends: Gertrude Darmann, Herbert Beutler, Heinz and Helga Ross [Rosenthal], Ruth Loschinski, and Hildegard Kniess. Also included in the papers are letters written after World War II to Evelyn Goldstein from Dr. Elisabeth Abegg, a German Quaker who helped to hide Evelyn Goldstein during the war.
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Evelyn Goldstein Woods
    Collection Creator
    Evelyn G. Woods
    Herta Long
    Biography
    Evelyn (Evy) Goldstein was born on June 26, 1938, in Berlin, Germany, to an assimilated Jewish couple, Ernst and Herta Loschinski Goldstein. Herta was born on May 3, 1914, in Schokken. Ernst was born on January 19, 1901, in Berlin and worked as a cigar distributor. They married on July 8, 1937. Since Hitler’s rise to power in 1933, Jews were subjected to increasing persecution. Ernst’s brother lived in the United States and the couple tried unsuccessfully to obtain visas. On July 31, Ernst was no longer permitted to work, but the companies with which he had worked continued to pay his commissions. Herta obtained permission to teach English. During the Kristallnacht pogrom on November 9, 1938, Ernst was warned to leave the city for the night. The next morning, he returned home and watched as his father, who lived with his family, was taken to the hospital where he died, a suicide. The family was forced to move into a shared apartment. Herta’s sister, Ruth, lived with them for a year until she went to work as a student nurse at the Jewish hospital. After Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Ernst and his father-in-law Paul were drafted as forced laborers. Ernst cleaned debris from bombed out buildings. Herta avoided forced labor until 1942, when she was reported by the building concierge and sent to work in a factory. Evy attended a Jewish kindergarten. Food was scarce and they ate beets six days a week. Evy and her friends played a game called round-up in which they role played as Gestapo and Jews.
    On February 27, 1943, the family went into hiding in the attic of their apartment house. An elderly Jewish couple, Ernst and Marta Lewent, who used to own the building, had constructed a two room attic hiding place and let the Goldsteins stay in one room. Evy got sick and slept in different parts of the attic so any noise she made could not be traced to their hiding place. Six weeks later, the Gestapo discovered them. The Lewents ran into a room with no exit; the Gestapo followed. Ernst closed the door and locked them all inside and escaped with his family through a hidden exit. They found temporary shelter with one of Ernst’s former customers, then moved around to different places. Ernst previously had met a university student, Hilde Kniess, the grocer’s niece. She was a member of an underground rescue network and had told him to contact her in case of emergency. Ernst did so now and was directed to Dr. Elisabeth Abegg, a university professor who had been deposed for her anti-Nazi views. Dr. Abegg and her students hid Evy separate from her parents, since the Gestapo was searching for a family of three. She was hidden with various people, including a devout Catholic woman who baptized her, and a woman named Gerda Frohbart. In June 1943, Dr. Abegg sent Evy to Bloestau, East Prussia, where she lived with Frieda Bunke and her three children on an estate owned by Baroness von Huellensen. Evy lied about her age, saying she was younger, so she would not have to attend school. She contracted diphtheria and scarlet fever and Dr. Abegg sent medicine from Berlin. In October, Herta arrived alone; Ernst had been arrested.
    In January 1945, German forces were retreating and the war front was approaching nearby Koenigsberg. Herta and Evy left the estate and hid with a widowed peasant, Frau Subiski, and her daughters. The family was very poor and there was no electricity or plumbing. One day, Evy went sledding and found an unexploded grenade that the adults told her to throw away. Nights were spent in the cellar. One morning, the trap door opened and Evy looked up and saw Russian soldiers pointing bayonets at them. This was in March or April 1945. The soldiers offered the children some chicken, but Herta did not allow Evy to eat any. The commander did not believe Evy and Herta were Jewish because he said all the Jews had been killed. They thought they must be spies because they spoke German and they were held as prisoners of war. Herta was sick in bed and soldiers pulled her screaming from the room. Evy thought they killed her, but she came back the next day. On a march to another camp, Evy got hoof and mouth disease and Herta traded a ring for bandages and medicine. They were held in various camps from which they escaped, eventually making their way to Vilna, Lithuania. Evy was placed in a Jewish orphanage and Herta lived with a Jewish family and worked for a Russian Jewish judge. No one believed Evy was Jewish as she had blond hair and spoke German. With her friend, Zippelle, she joined the Young Pioneers, a communist youth group. One day, while playing outside, Evy and Zippelle saw a group of German prisoners, still in uniform, sick and malnourished. Zippelle told Evy to throw stones at them because they were the reason why they are orphans, but Evy could not do it. She felt sorry for them and knew they were not the ones who killed their families.
    In 1948, Herta took Evy from the orphanage, although Evy did not want to go. They boarded a repatriation train for Germany. There was a typhus break out and every day dead bodies were thrown from the train. Food and water was scarce, and people drank engine oil. Weeks later, they arrived at an East German quarantine camp. Evy and Herta did not have typhus and escaped. They returned to Berlin with the fasle name of Lubschuz. Dr. Abegg let them live in her deceased brother's apartment. Her worked as a secretary for the International Refugee Organization. She sent ten year old Evy to stay with a couple in Sweden. She returned to Berlin after nine months. Evy learned that her father had been murdered in Auschwitz concentration camp on August 2, 1943.
    In July 1950, Herta and Evy left Germany on the SS General ML Hersey for the US. Herta married Henry Long, a fellow survivor. Evy married John Woods and the couple had a daughter. In 1967, Dr. Elisabeth Abegg was honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among Nations. Herta, 91, died in 2005 in New Mexico.
    Herta Loschinski was born on May 3, 1914, in Schokken, Germany, where her father, Paul, was born on January 30, 1898. He sold animal hides and furs. Her mother, Regina Kirschbaum, was born on May 22, 1890, in Oboroniki, Poland. The family moved to Berlin on June 21, 1922, where her sister, Ruth, was born December 1. Paul managed a department store owned by his brother-in-law. The conservative Jewish family celebrated holidays. Herta attended a girl’s only Jewish school and learned English and French.
    Hitler became dictator of Germany in 1933 and harsh anti-Jewish laws were enacted. On July 8, 1937, Herta married Ernst Goldstein, a cigar distributor. Ernst’s brother lived in the US and they tried unsuccessfully to obtain visas. A daughter, Evelyn, was born on June 26, 1938. On July 31, Ernst was no longer permitted to work, though the companies he had worked for continued to pay his remaining commissions. Herta obtained permission to teach English. On November 9, during the Kristallnacht pogrom, Ernst was warned to leave the city. After his return, his father was taken to the hospital where he died after a suicide attempt. The family had to move into a shared apartment. Herta’s sister, Ruth, lived with them until she left after a year to work as a student nurse at the Jewish hospital.
    After Germany invaded Poland on September 1, 1939, Ernst and his father-in-law were assigned to forced labor. Ernst cleared debris from bombed out buildings and Paul made cement. Paul was struck by a car one day and recovered under Ruth’s care at the Jewish hospital. Herta’s mother died in February 1941. Herta avoided forced labor until 1942 when she was turned in by the apartment concierge. She reported to the German Labor Employment Office for Jews and an official who knew her father sent her to a decent factory. Evy attended a Jewish kindergarten. Food was scarce and they ate beets six days a week. Herta worked late, and as Jews could only shop in the evening, Ernst bought their food from a grocery owned by a widow, Ernestina. She gave him food beyond their allotted ration and the local butcher gave them extra meat. On February 26, 1943, the family visited Ruth. She told Herta their father was going to be sent to Theresienstadt concentration camp and she and her husband, Bruno, had decided to accompany him. Herta refused to go. When they returned home the next day, the SS arrived. Herta heard footsteps above and saw the landlord, Ernst Lewent, and his wife, Marta, sneak into the attic. She learned that Lewent, who used to own the building until forced to sign it over to a Gentile friend, had constructed a two room attic hiding place. He offered one room to the Goldstein’s. Ernst would go and get food at the grocery. One day he met Ernestina’s niece, Hilde Kniess. She was a member of an underground aide group headed by Dr. Elisabeth Abegg, a university professor dismissed for her anti-Nazi views. Hilde told him how to contact her if he needed help.
    One afternoon, the concierge led the Gestapo to the attic. The Lewents ran into a room with no exit; the Gestapo followed. Ernst locked them inside and escaped with his family through a hidden exit. They found shelter with one of Ernst’s former customers. Next they went to Ernestina and stayed above the grocery, and then hid in different hiding places. One night, Herta and Ernst returned to their apartment. They collected money, linens, and paintings, and tore up all personal photos and documents. Ernestina sold the items for them. Hilde, on Dr. Abegg’s advice, found Evy separate hiding places, since the Gestapo was looking for a couple with a young child. Evy was taught to use only her new name: Eva Holstein. Ernst rented a room by telling the landlady that he was a married soldier and Herta his girlfriend. Evy visited occasionally. They decided that Berlin was too dangerous for Evy. In June 1943, Dr. Abegg sent her to Bloestau, East Prussia, where she lived with Frieda Bunke and her three children on an estate owned by Baroness von Huellensen.

    In August, seeking to sell their remaining possessions, Ernst found a newspaper ad for someone wanting to buy linens. They went to the address and a man followed Ernst inside. A moment later, Ernst was escorted out. The ad was a trap. Ernst was arrested because they thought he had stolen the linens, not because he was Jewish. Herta followed them onto a bus and Ernst slipped her the briefcase. The bus arrived at a prison. Herta returned to their room and found the SS looking for her. She left and spent the night on a bench. She then took a train to East Prussia and was reunited with Evy.
    In January 1945, German forces were retreating and the war front was approaching nearby Koenigsberg. Herta and Evy left the estate and hid with a widowed peasant, Frau Subiski, and her daughters. The family was very poor and there was no electricity or plumbing. Nights were spent in the cellar. One morning, the trap door opened and they saw Russian soldiers pointing bayonets at them. This was in March or April 1945. The commander did not believe Evy and Herta were Jewish because he said all the Jews had been killed. He thought they must be spies because they spoke German and they were held as prisoners of war. Herta was sick in bed and soldiers pulled her screaming from the room. Evy thought they killed her, but she came back the next day. They were held in various camps, and eventually escaped to Vilna, Lithuania. Evy was placed in a Jewish orphanage and Herta lived with a Jewish family and worked for a Russian Jewish judge.
    In 1948, Herta took Evy from the orphanage. They boarded a repatriation train for Germany. There was a typhus break out and every day dead bodies were thrown from the train. Food and water was scarce, and people drank engine oil. Weeks later, they arrived at an East German quarantine camp. Evy and Herta did not have typhus and escaped. They returned to Berlin under the false name Lubschutz. Dr. Abegg let them stay in her dead brother’s apartment. Herta worked as a secretary for the International Refugee Organization. Evy was sent to stay with a couple in Sweden and returned after nine months. Herta discovered that Ernst had been murdered in Auschwitz on August 2, 1943. Her father, sister, and brother-in-law were deported to Theresienstadt on June 17, 1943. Her father died there; Ruth and Bruno were sent to Auschwitz; Bruno died on a transport from Golleschau on January 29, 1945. Ruth survived a death march to Bergen-Belsen and was liberated in late April 1945.
    In July 1950, Herta and Evy left Germany for the US. Herta married Henry Long, a fellow survivor. Evy married John Woods and the couple had a daughter. In 1967, Dr. Elisabeth Abegg was honored by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among Nations. Herta, 91, died in 2005 in New Mexico.

    Physical Details

    Language
    German English
    Extent
    1 box

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    Material(s) in this collection may be protected by copyright and/or related rights. You do not require further permission from the Museum to use this material. The user is solely responsible for making a determination as to if and how the material may be used.

    Keywords & Subjects

    Administrative Notes

    Provenance
    The papers were donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2004 by Evelyn Goldstein Woods, the daughter of Herta Loschinski Goldstein.
    Record last modified:
    2023-12-01 13:55:48
    This page:
    https:​/​/collections.ushmm.org​/search​/catalog​/irn522526

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