Survivor story: Ursel Goldschmidt

'Mum took taxi to see me one last time'

January 27, 2011
Ursel Goldschmidt

Ursel Goldschmidt

Ursel Goldschmidt was 14 when her parents put her on the last Kindertransport train to leave Berlin in August 1939. An only child from a close family, she recalls that getting on the train, "I did not know what was happening until the parents had to stand back and say goodbye.

"My father had tears running down his cheeks. I saw my mother at the next station - she must have taken a taxi to see me one last time. I called 'Mutti, mutti, mutti' to my mother. I never saw them again. No one looked after me on the train, the journey was dreadful. The feeling of realising that I was going to be alone hit me hard. I felt numb when I arrived at Liverpool Street station."

In London, where she stayed with family friends, she received a Red Cross message from her father. "It was dated February 13, 1943 and said: 'We are going on a trip in the next few days. You will hear nothing for a long time. Keep well. I send you a thousand kisses.'

"My father was sent to Theresienstadt and died and my mother died in Auschwitz. When I was 65 years old I visited Auschwitz with my husband and I stood at the station where she must have stood and it was terrible."

Now 86 and battling cancer, Mrs Goldschimdt is grateful to those who ensured her survival and has tried to give to others throughout her life. "I have always been very appreciative of what has been done for me. Even when my children were small I always tried to help other children. I was glad to be living a comfortable life. But one can't prevent things like this from happening again because people generally do not care."

Last updated: 10:58am, January 27 2011