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Evy Woods papers

Document | Not Digitized | Accession Number: 2007.60.1

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    Contains original photographs of Ruth Loschinski Thal, a nurse who was in Terezin, Auschwitz and later died in Bergen Belsen; one photo depicts Ruth in the Jewish Hospital in Berlin, July 1942. Also includes a postcard sent from Ruth in Terezin to her family's German neighbors in Berlin dated July 10, 1944; these neighbors sent food packages to Ruth.
    inclusive:  1942-1944
    Credit Line
    United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection, Gift of Evelyn Goldstein Woods
    Collection Creator
    Evelyn G. Woods
    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.

    Physical Details

    1 folder

    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

    Topical Term
    Jewish hospitals.

    Administrative Notes

    The collection was donated to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in 2007 by Evy Goldstein Woods.
    Record last modified:
    2023-06-16 10:46:40
    This page:

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