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Gertrude Goldberg

Arrived in Britain:
Place of Birth:
31 December 1938
Interview number:


Dr Rosalyn Livshin

Date of Interview:

Interview Summary:

Gertrude (Trude) Goldberg (nee Schiffmann) was born in Vienna in 1930. Her father was from Poland and her mother from Vienna. Her father was from an ultra-orthodox family of 7 boys. He left them for a better life in Vienna. Her mother came from a middling orthodox family of 7. Her parents ran a delicatessen shop in Vienna’s 2nd district. Trude was the second of 5 children, 4 girls and one boy. She attended a Jewish Elementary School and had an orthodox upbringing. Her father acted as a voluntary Chazan in a shteibel and blew the shofar. Trude remembered seeing Hitler as his motorcade passed by and remembered being constantly scared after the Anschluss. Her father’s shop was smashed and he fled to Vichy France. Her mother arranged for the 3 oldest girls to go on a Kindertransport organized by Schonfeld. They left at the end of December 1938, arriving in Newcastle on 31 December.  About 300 children were on the transport and 20 ended up in Sunderland. Her older sister stayed in London and she and Ruth came to different families in Sunderland. 

Trude stayed with the family of Ethel and Max Shapero, who had a son. She had never been in a house or slept in a bed with blankets and she spoke no English. The children spent 3 months learning English in the Cheder rooms of Ryhope Rd Shul and then she attended Commercial Rd Elementary School. She was an object of curiosity and met some anti-Semitism. There were only 5 Jewish children at the school. Over time she settled down and later went to West Park School and then to Bede Grammar School. She quickly forgot her German. The family evacuated twice during the war. At the beginning for a few months to Ingleton, Yorkshire and during the bombing for a short time to Bolton. She belonged to Newcastle Maccabi, went twice a week to the Cinema and attended monthly gatherings in Sunderland. After the war her elder sister discovered their parents and siblings had been killed in Auschwitz. Trude did a commercial course after school and went to work for her guardian in the office. 

She married Stanley Goldberg, a Leeds boy, on 17 June 1956 and went to live in Leeds. He was in wholesale ladies' fashions and she worked for him. They adopted two girls.


Full Interview


I think it has affected my life because I feel as nothing is really important. Possessions do not mean much to me. I sometimes wonder: ‘why was I saved?’ And I just try and live, try to be as helpful as I can, and sometimes I wonder if I believe in God but there must be something [...] And there must be some reason why I was saved and somebody else wasn’t.

Mother must have just told us. I mean, never thinking that we wouldn’t see my mother again. I remember, sorting out what we could take. What can an eight-year-old carry? Just took a change of clothing and drawing books and pencils. I remember people coming to the house …And a lot of talking going on and they must have been the ones that arranged it all. I think the majority of Dr Schonfeld’s children went into Jewish homes. A lot of the Kindertransport children didn’t. They were only too pleased to find homes for them.

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