What happened to the Goldstein family

The other Berlin couple that married in London in January 1911, Dina Twiasschor and Israel Goldstein, prospered as a family and in business in Berlin in the 1910s and '20s. Their daughter Sally was born in 1912, and then two other children, Alfred and Ruth, followed a decade later. Israel ran a furniture and textile store on Brunnenstraße.

We know this and quite a bit more because of a comprehensive biography of Dina Goldstein that is posted at the Finding Stolpersteine site, where you find all the documentation about the three stones in the photo placed in the sidewalk at Zehdenicker Str. 25. You should follow the link and read the English translation yourself, but I will summarize. 

The family faced tough times during the persecutions of the 1930s. The store on Brunnenstraße was closed, and the family invested instead in a mattress store on Lothringer Straße, where Israel also worked. They investigated ways to leave Germany. Israel actually visited his two brothers in the United States to secure sponsorship documentation. However, the Goldsteins still were not able to get a U.S. visa. 

On October 28, 1938, along with thousands of other Polish citizens in Germany, Israel was forceably evicted from Germany in what is known as the Polen-aktion. However, Poland would not accept the evicted Jews to return to their native land, and thousands languished for months in a no-man's land around the town of Zbasyn. On the Stolpersteine page, we learn that Israel was able to make his way to his birth village of Kolomea in south Poland, and that after a time Dina and their son Alfred were able to join him there. The two daughters, 24 and 12 years old, stayed behind in Berlin. 

Germany invaded Poland in June 1941 and the town of Kolomea came under the law of German occupation. A Jewish ghetto was established and the Goldsteins survived there into the early months of 1942, when they fell victim to one of the periodic actions in the ghetto. They perished in the Nazi death camp at Belzec.

Sally and Ruth got out of Germany and made it to the United States. It is Ruth who sponsored the laying of the memorial stone in 2009. She has also donated a collection of Goldstein family photos and papers to the USHMM. When I page through the photos of the Goldstein family on resort at Bad Flinsberg and other locales, they look just like many of the Ringel-Wohlgemuth photos we have of happy German Jewish vacationers in their bathing costumes. 

Dina Twiasschor was the sister-in-law of Helga's Tante Betty. And that makes her and the rest of the Goldsteins a part of our own mishpocha. Welcome to the Ruby family, Dina. I will pay my respects at the Stolpersteine on Zehdenicker Straße the next time I come to Berlin.

Family Story:

Add new comment