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It was April 17, 1948 when Danny Goldsmith first saw the United States as he sailed into the New York harbor aboard a World War II Liberty (cargo) ship that had been converted to carry immigrants from Europe tothe “Promised Land.” On April 19, 2009, Danny celebrated the 61st anniversary of his arrival in the U.S. by recounting his escape from the Holocaust that had engulfed Europe to a rapt audience of students and adults at Congregation Tiferes B’nai Israel synagogue in Warrington.


Mr. Goldsmith is a “Child Survivor of the Holocaust.” He described how the Nazis methodically eliminated the civil rights of the Jewish populace in his native Belgium. They disallowed the people from teaching, business ownership, and professional positions eventually confiscating property and material possessions.


The residents were forced to register and eventually were forced to wear identifying Jewish stars on their outer garments. His father was sent to a forced labor camp. One night the Nazis sealed off the street where the rest of his family lived. Danny’s mother took him and his baby sister and hid them on the roof of the house under a blanket. A soldier opened the skylight and peeked out onto the roof but did not see their hiding place in the dark.


His mother managed to have a non-Jewish friend hide Danny and his sister while she tried to find an escape for them. During the next several years, Danny and his sister were hidden in a convent (only the Mother Superior knew their real identities), and also with various families.


Eventually, Danny was discovered and was loaded onto a boxcar with other boys who had been discovered. The oldest of the boys, a youth about 16-years old, had hidden a steel bar in the leg of his pants. He planned to chip away at the boxcar’s sides until there was a hole large enough for him to push the younger boys off the train when it slowed.


The escape was successful and all of the boys exited the train and made it to a nearby town where the Catholic priest arranged for the townspeople to hide the boys. Mr. Goldsmith related how he lived in the attic and came out only at night to play with a rabbit in the enclosed rear yard.

During this time, Danny’s mother had joined the Underground and had served as a courier. When the Americans liberated the town, Danny was eventually reunited with his mother and ultimately his baby sister. His sister did not remember their Mother since she had been less than three when their initial escape began.


One of Danny’s uncles who had immigrated to the U.S., was an American G.I. and sponsored Danny, his mother and sister to immigrate to the States. It was April 17, 1948 when Danny Goldsmith first saw the United States, 61 years ago. He is a “Child Survivor of the Holocaust” because he never made it to a concentration camp. He did however, suffer all of the indignities of having his civil rights stripped away.


The Germans were meticulous record- keepers. Mr. Goldsmith discovered in the “Auschwitz Chronicles 1939-1945: that his father died there November 2 1942.

Meet TBI Member Danny Goldsmith