Goldberg, Paulette (Eberson)
Paris (France), France
Mrs. Paulette Goldberg was born in Paris in 1938. Her parents were originally from Warsaw and had begun traveling to Palestine but ended up staying in Paris in 1936. She had an older brother and a sister six years older.
Mrs. Goldberg’s father was deported to Poland as he did not have a French visa to work in Paris. In September 1942, her mother was taken to the Drancy Concentration Camp. Her brother was ill and was taken to a convent to recover. Mrs. Goldberg and her older sister were eventually thrown into the streets where they had to keep moving. They took shelter sleeping in the Metro station because it was warm there and the guards sometimes gave them food.
Next the two sisters slept in an empty apartment where the Underground or the Red Cross found them and put them on a train for Le Chambon, where there was a home for Jewish children. She remembers being hidden in a cart full of hay and escaping the Germans when they searched for Jews with their pitchforks. The cart stopped about four or five times. They were taken to another woman’s house to stay. Her brother was already there but left the next day. When he left, they were put in a small backyard shed with chickens and rabbits. There was one bench to sit and to sleep on. It was cold and there was no food.
Once a day, Mrs. Goldberg walked to school to get a plate of soup. Her sister wasn’t allowed to go because she was too old. Staying there was also a boy by the name of George who was 8 or 9 years older. There was an outhouse in the yard. George had molested her until it was found out and it immediately stopped. Both girls were taken to another Catholic house by a nun that Mrs. Goldberg had spoken to on a return walk back from school.
Next they traveled by train to another location in France where a lovely, kind woman took them in. They were fed, clothed, shaved the lice from their heads and went to school. The town was small, about five hundred people or less. There was a lot of land, but only five or six streets. The school held about one hundred students.
The Germans came to town often looking for Jews. Mrs. Goldberg saw killings and hangings. She hid and watched the killings.
Eventually the sisters were picked up by the OSE. They were constantly moved around to different Children’s Homes. Her sister went with an older group and her brother was given the choice of going to either Canada or Australia. He went to Australia in 1948. Two years later, at the age of sixteen, Mrs. Goldberg went to Melbourne.
All those that helped her through the war years were not Jewish until they were OSE. She and her sister spent the entire period moving from one location to another. Mrs. Goldberg always knew she was Jewish. She did not know her parents were dead and continuously searched for them until 1993. In German documents, Mrs. Goldberg discovered that her mother was gassed in Auschwitz just one month after being taken to Drancy. OSE had records from 1942 and gave her mother’s jewelry back to them.
Date: July 2000
Interviewer: Rene Lichtman (World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust)