JOCHEWED GOLDSZAL (1897-1988)
Jochewed Jungermann was born to Bluma Devorah (nee Grosser) and Reb Menachem Jungermann, on March 3, 1897, in Warsaw, Poland. These were tumultous times. Anti-semitism was rampant. Bluma Devorah had just been expelled from Prussia, to Warsaw, Poland, along with their then three children: David (b. May 1, 1891); Moshe (b. August 7, 1893); Esther Chasha (b. March 3, 1894); She was pregnant at the time of leaving, with Jochewed. Jochewed had a twin, but the twin did not survive. Reb Menachem Jungermann already had German nationality, so he didn't have to leave, but Bluma Devorah had only Polish nationality. Her father was a rabbi and talmudic scholar in Warsaw. Very little is known of their time in Poland.
Reb Menachem Jungermann
Bluma Devorah Jungermann
Jochewed was still a young child when the family moved to Berlin and Jochewed went to school there. Along with other Jewish immigrants at that time, the Jungermanns settled in what became the Jewish quarter of Berlin, the Scheunenviertel, located in the eastern part of the city, near the Alexanderplatz. The neighbourhood was one of the oldest in Berlin, but had been rebuilt in the 19th century. This area contained the Higher Institute of Jewish learning, near the New Synagogue. The building is still there. It also contained the offices of the Berlin Jewish community, Jewish schools, theatres and art galleries. It was a very vibrant Jewish area. Jews from all socio-economic levels, both rich and poor, lived together in one community. It was also one of the most politically active areas in Berlin. The Jungermanns made their home in a flat in the Hirten Strasse.
Reb Menachem served the Jewish community both as a shochet (ritual slaughterer) and mohel (carried out circumcisions) for the local Jewish community. He ran a small Yeshiva. He was also a businessman. Bluma Devorah, his wife, ran their small butcher shop that sold chickens. Two more children were born to them: Sarah Miriam (b. April 4, 1904) and Avrom (b. April 27, 1910).
Reb Menachem died in 1930, following a stroke.
Jochewed married Israel Goldschal. He was originally from Poland. He who may or may not have been introduced to Jochewed when he was a guest at the Jungermanns one Shabbat. The Jungermanns followed the Jewish tradition of inviting strangers into their home from synagogue for a Shabbat meal. Once married the Goldschal's moved to the Grenadier Strasse.
Photo:Israel Goldschal (b. 1892 d. 194?) and
Jochewed Goldschal, nee Jungermann (1897-1988).
Three generations (from left to right):
Jochewed, Betti and Bluma Devorah.
Photograph taken around 1922.
Grenadierstrasse after recent renovations around 2000:
Photo taken by Rosa and Joe Sacharin
|Left to right: Paula, Harry and Esther Chasha (Szydlo)||Left to right: Esther Chasha (Szydlo), Henry and Paula, 1934|
After Bluma died, in 1936, the Goldschals moved to the Linien Strasse. Israel Goldschal was a master tailor by profession. Israel and Jochewed had two machines at the home of Jochewed's parents. Israel rented, or bought, large premises in the district of Wedding, in Berlin. He manufactured ladies coats and at one time employed 20 people on the premises as well as other home workers. The products were sold in Wertheim and KaDeWe, both big department stores which were then Jewish owned. He must have been successful since he also managed to buy land and build a summer house in Luebars on the Tegel. Israel and Jochewed had three children: Betti, the eldest, born in October 25, 1921; then Avrom Chiel - also known by the pet name "Brummel" , born on April 17, 1923; and Rosa, born 1925.
Betti with Avrom "Brummel".
Betti's first day at school,
holding the traditional Zuckertuete
Brummel age 6 when school life began, 1929
He is seen holding the traditional Zuckertuete.
|Brummel, age 13, at his barmitzvah, 1936|
|Rosa Goldschal with her sister Betti and Mother Yochewed. Rosa was about five years old when this photo was taken.||Betty Pheil, 1939|
Betti was the first to go to school. She attended the modern orthodox Jewish Adass Yisroel school. There is now a memorial stone standing where the old school stood. It reads in part "Remember! Adass Yisroel, the modern orthodox Jewish Community in Berlin, was founded in 1869. Dr. Esriel Hildesheimer served as its first Rabbi. On the Jewish New Year 5685 (1924) a school and a synagogue were officially dedicated at this location, 11 Siegmundshof. In 1939 all of the community's institutions were destroyed by the Nazis. Its members teachers and pupils were tortured, deported and murdered by thugs and their accomplices. Let the memory of the just be blessed!"
Following the passing of the Nuremberg Laws, September 1935, the family situation changed dramatically for the worse. The last major family get-together was at Avrom's Bar Mitzvah in 1936. The Nuremberg laws, among other things, deprived Jews of German citizenship, designating them "subjects" of the state. This led to the trial of about 250 men, including Israel , who had been arrested by the Gestapo in 1937 or 1938. All were imprisoned. Israel's small tailoring factory was confiscated. Israel, being a Polish national, was deported to Poland and was never heard of after 1941. The list of the accused can be seen in the Jewish section at Auschwitz. Avrom's arrest took place at 2:00 am while at home in November 1938, just one week before Kristallnacht, the night of November 9-10, 1938. This was a time when many Jews were arrested. It was difficult for people to escape, if not forewarned. Neither Betti nor Rosa were at home that fateful night. On Kristallnacht, the synagogue that the Goldschals went to was destroyed. Things were becoming desperate. Rosa got a place on one of the Kindertransporte to England on December 1, 1938. As war became imminent everyone was clamoring for a visa at the British Embassy in Berlin. Jochewed was unable to get a visa, but continued her efforts to get Betti out.
Rosa arrived in England on the Kindertransport in December 1938. After about three weeks at Dovercourt Bay Holiday camp, that included Hannukah - the first day of Hannukah that year was Sunday December 18, 1938 (Kislev 25, 5699) - she was sent to Edinburgh, Scotland to a Jewish family, as a domestic, despite her young age.
Initially, and totally understandably, Betti took the separation from her mother at the airport very badly. She became ill at the time and very distressed. She arrived in Edinburgh on September 1, 1939. She stayed with Rosa at the Jewish family's home for a short while. Betti had already started training as a kindergaertnerin, a nursery school assistant, in Germany. In Scotland, children, nursery school age included, were evacuated from major cities, and Betti was billeted in Galashiels to care for a group of nursery children. Although talented in her ability to communicate with young children, she couldn't speak or understand a word of English. She learned on the job, simply by listening and the very young children teaching her. There were no fancy English courses then. Reading and writing was learned from reading newspapers and books.
In the meantime, fifteen year old Avrom had been sent to a labor camp. Betti and Rosa, now in Scotland, received a letter from him in 1942, sent through the auspices of the Red Cross (Deutsches Rotes Kreuz) from Rzeszow, Poland. Addressed to Rosa Goldzal, Edinburgh. There was a maximum limit of 25 words only permitted. In pencil, he wrote (translated from the German): Dear Sisters How are you? Are you well? I am as always. Every week get post from Mummy. Have to work but not learning any profession with it. (July 27,1942).
It was the last letter ever received from Avrom "Brummel", and despite many searches by his sister, Rosa, no trace of him has ever been found.
The nursery school children were returned to their families in late 1940 and Betti had to leave the eastern part of Scotland. (Edinburgh and the surrounding area was a protected area because of the Forth Rail bridge and Rosyth Naval Yard. Aliens over the age of 16 were not allowed to live there). She went to Glasgow.
There was quite a large number of German, Polish, Austrian and Czechoslovakian refugees in Glasgow at that time. One of the refugees, Dr. Blau, introduced Betti to a Church of Scotland minister, the Rev. MacDonald and his wife. The Church of Scotland had nurseries, and Betti was given a position in Partick. The Rev. and Mrs. MacDonald took Betti under their wing and she was welcomed into their home.The Reverend was well versed in the Old Testament. Mrs. MacDonald made many efforts to convert Betti to Christianity, but Betti told her in no uncertain terms that this was out of the question. Betti stayed in the women's hostel in Renfrew Street in Glasgow. It was run by the Quakers and the matron was not a woman who was liked by the residents.
Meanwhile, Jochewed, still in Berlin, had to live off her savings and try to stay alive. Jochewed stayed in her apartment until January 27, 1941. On that date, she left the apartment and lived illegally until May, 1945. She lived mostly in rat-infested cellars of bombed-out buildings. Many a day, she lived on a tiny bit of bread and unclean water. She lived in indescribably horrible conditions in terrible fear of being caught and hardly dared to go out. She suffered physically and mentally for many years after the war as a result of the conditions she lived in.
In May 1945, she was recognized by the British Occupation Authorities as a victim of fascism and got a passport for Britain (September, 24, 1946) and left for Britain in January, 1947. She had two witnesses from that time period: Frau Lydia Budrich, Zehdenickerstr. 21 and Frau Kelm, Meyerbeerstrs. 6. She does not remember other names as it was traumatic to recall events from that period. Her very last address before leaving for Britain was Rosenthalerstr. 18/19. Up until 1940, she lived in the Linienstr. 64 III. This apartment had 4 rooms and was well furnished. She was then moved by the Nazi authorities to an apartment in Rosenthalerstr. 18/19 which belonged to a Dr. Schaefer who was a chemist or pharmacist and who lived there with his sister. Apart from that, there was a Frau Schlesinger and two young girls whose names she could not remember. At that time, the Jews were forced to live together. Dr. Schaefer was taken away in 1940 and shortly after, she heard of his death. Frau Schlesinger also died. Later, the house was completely destroyed by the bombing. Jochewed left that apartment on January 27, 1941 when she learned that the Gestapo was about to come for her. She sent the key to the apartment with a letter to the Gestapo. In the letter, she declared she was going to commit suicide. The apartment was locked up by the police, but Jochewed had retained a back door key and at the beginning, still made use of the apartment, mostly at night-time. Otherwise she would hide out in cellars of bombed-out buildings together with the rats. She would spend the daytime on the streets. In the early days, she hid with someone called Herr Pressmann but does not know what happened to him. She lived from her husband's savings, about 30,000 Reichmarks. Sometimes she was sent money.
Jochewed was forced to work in a factory for the Nazi war effort. She became ill and was sent to the Catholic Hospital in Berlin. During one of the regular searches by the Gestapo for Jewish patients, a nurse protected her by giving her a nurse's gown and some instruments to clean and told the Nazi officer she was one of the helpers. In this way her life was saved. This is in stark contrast to a similar search that was carried out by the Nazis in the Jewish hospital in Berlin where all the Jewish patients were rounded up and transported to Poland, their fate sealed.
In 1942, she got hold of the work card of an Aryan woman who had died in hospital. She changed her identity to Frau Lehmann. She could use her new identity to buy food, usually for a high price.
Jochewed had many stories in which she had narrow escapes from the Nazis. Her favorite was the day that she was stopped by a Nazi officer in the street. He wanted to search her bag. "I have no time to waste, I have important work to do for the Fuehrer!", she snapped at him. He laughed and let her go.
From Albert Kelm's testimony: Albert Otto Kelm, born 18.11. 1879. From 1936 he had a grocery shop in Alte Schoenhauserstr. 58. Jochewed Goldszal was one of his regular customers. At the beginning of 1941, when it became harder and harder for Jews to find a place to live, Jochewed asked Herr Kelm if she could stay with him. Because he had known Jochewed for many years and that, as a Jew, she was looking for a hiding-place, he took her to his apartment in Schoenhauser Allee 158 a/b. She had a small room there that beforehand was his son's who was then in the military. He sold her food until 1945. Jochewed wrote: The food that she bought from Herr Kelm was enough to feed others in hiding too. She bought the food at a regular price. She lived in his apartment until the end of 1942 and then stayed in his apartment occasionally during the day. Frau Kelm was a motherly and comforting person towards Jochewed. The Kelms received no payment for this.
Zehdenickerstr. 21 was Jochewed's last address before leaving for Britain in January, 1947. Her last address of the days in hiding was at Rosenthalerstr. 18/19. Other people who helped Jochewed: Frau Lydia Buderich, Zehdenickerstr. 22; Herr Fritz Stiebel - she lived on his farm in Niederneuendorf for 9 months. He took no payment for hiding her.
Somehow, Jochewed, found the strength to stay alive hiding in broad daylight, under the noses of the Nazis throughout the war years.
The First Pessah: (Passover) Festival of Freedom - April 1946
This is the bread of affliction...
Baking Matzot in Berlin, April 1946. Jochewed Goldszal on the right.
The first Pessah after the liberation of Berlin.
|Berlin, April 1946. Jochewed Goldzal is the little lady placing the box of matzah on top of the pile of cartons filled with matzot. The carton box proudly displays the logo of the American Joint Jewish Distribution Committee.||The first Seder, April 1946 Jochewed Goldszal can be seen sitting on far right of photo.|
In order for Jochewed to immigrate to Britain, Betti and Rosa had to prove to the authorities that they could support Jochewed and provide housing. It was the job with the Corporation of Glasgow that gave Betti the necessary requirements, a stable job and income, to allow her to put in a request to the British Army on the Rhine (BAOR) that her mother be given a permit to come to Glasgow and live with the family.
48, Belmont Street, Glasgow. W.2. Scotland 13th June 1946. Mrs. J. Goldszahl Zehdenicker Strasse 21, Berlin. N.54. Dear Mother, The object of this short letter is to extend an invitation to you to come and make your home here with me in Great Britain. During the war years I have been employed by the Glasgow Corporation as a teacher in a Nur- sery School and am pleased to say that I have now been engaged on a permanent basis which means a great difference to me in many ways. It means my future is secure and as I have now an income sufficient to maintain us both I hope that my long cherished wish of having you here with me can now be implemeted. You need have no fears mother, as the people in this country are all so kind and helpful and I know you will be very happy. Your loving Daughter,
48, Belmont Street, Glasgow. W.2. Scotland 13th June 1946. Officer Commanding H.Q., 700 Central Unit B.A.O.R. Dear Sir, Until 1938 when the presecution of the Jews by the Hitler became very acute I lived in Berlin with my Father, Mother, Sister, and Brother but during that year our family became an object of the Nazis' attention. My Father and Brother were taken into custody and have not been heard of since while my sister who was then a child of 12 years of age, successfully reached this country to be foll- owed in 1939 by myself. My Mother however was obliged to remain behind in Germany and after the final eclipse of the Germans I managed to establish contact with her, finding that she is at present in Berlin without any means of support. I have been employed by the Corporation of the City of Glasgow as a teacher in a Nursery School for the past five years and have now been engaged in a more permanent basis which means that my future is secure. As I have sufficient means to maintain both my mother and myself and as there is ample accommodation for her here I have written the enclosed formal letter invit- ing her to come to Glasgow to live with me. This is a long cherished desire both of my sister Rosa, now a nurse in York- hill Childrens' Hospital, Glasgow, and myself and we sincerely hope that you will see your way to make it possible for my mother to take advantage of my invitation. Should you require any further information I shall be only to pleased to furnish such particulars as you may desire. I am, Yours faithfully, P.S. In case it is necessary I would mention that my mother is in her 47th year and as she has been living under- ground during the war years her papers have gone astray.
Triumphant victory! 1947. The reunion at Trefoil Avenue. Betti is on the left, Jochewed, center, and Rosa on the right. The war is over, at last!
Reality slowly sinks in. The hidden scars of displacement. The above photo was taken one Friday night, at Trefoil Avenue, Glasgow, in 1947. The occasion was a Shabbat evening meal. From left to right: Miss Schur, Jochewed Goldszal, Mr. Doktor, Rosa Goldszal, and Betty Goldszal.
Mr. Doktor, a refugee, a commercial traveller, unmarried was helping his nephew and niece. Ilse, his niece and Rosa Goldszal shared digs in Allison Street. Miss Schur was also a refugee, a dressmaker. She went back to Berlin to look after her sister who was critically wounded during the fighting in Berlin. Unfortunately, once her sister died, Miss Schur committed suicide.
|Another tragedy was to follow: Jutta Wagner, also a refugee from Berlin had been Betti's flatmate and her closest friend in Glasgow. Both of her parents had perished in the Lodz Ghetto. Jutta and Jochewed hit it off instantly. Jutta asked Jochewed "Wirst Du meine Mutti auch sein?" (Will you be my mother as well?) It was Jochewed that visited Jutta and gave her loving support as she succumbed to tuberculosis (TB). Jutta died on June 30, 1947.|
|Photo on left shows Jutta Wagner sitting with Betti in happier times. It was taken at 48 Belmont Street, Glasgow, at Christmas eve (Weihnachten), 1944. See the roaring fire in the background. On the mantelpiece to the right is a photo of Jochewed Goldszal, on the left a photograph of someone in a sailor uniform, probably the boyfriend of Jutta who was to break her heart by breaking off the relationship.|
After all this upheaval, Betti married Henry Pheil (Heinrich Pfeil), also a refugee from Berlin, on June 7, 1949.
From left to right:
Jetti Szydlo (Betti's cousin - the daughter of Esther Chasha - Jochewed's sister) ; Rosa Goldszal; Henry Pheil; Betti Goldszal now Betty Pheil; Jochewed Goldszal; and Norbert, the best man, Henry's friend, also a refugee.
Jetti Szydlo had been sent to safety during the war years in Denmark. She is the only survivor of six brothers and sisters (Leo, Harry, Paula, Yankele, Chiel, Heine).
Betti subsequently left her job at the Corporation of Glasgow as it was either career or marriage for women at that time and Betti had chosen marriage. She was then asked to run the Jewish Nursery at 17 Queen Mary Avenue. When this nursery closed, she was asked by Rabbi Rubinstein of Giffnock and Newlands Synagogue to start a nursery in Giffnock. Betti chose the equipment and laid the foundation for the curriculum. She worked there until the birth of her first child, Maurice, in 1954. Her second child, Rose, was born in 1960.
Betti returned to work as a nursery school teacher, re-called by Miss Ferguson, her teacher and mentor,about 1969. In 1985, after the death of her husband, Henry, she immigrated to Israel. After a great deal of hesitation and with many mixed feelings, she accepted an invitation from the Mayor of Berlin to visit the city of her birth as a good-will gesture "Wiedergutmachung". Betti died after a brave fight with illness in 2001.
With special thanks to Sigrun Marks for her research in the Berlin archives and for helping to join the dots.