Holocaust Survivor Speaks to Simmons 5th-Graders

Danny Goldsmith, of Warminster, shares what it was like as a child under Nazi reign.

Fifth-graders recently learned what it was like to be a young child living during the Holocaust, after a survivor shared his experience residing in German-occupied Denmark.

Danny Goldsmith, of Warminster, spoke to fifth-graders during a recent assembly about his experience as a child of the Holocaust in Europe and the steps he took to survive. Goldsmith was never caught by the Gestapo or was sent to a concentration camp, but had several close encounters with the Nazis.

Goldsmith recounted his childhood experience for the audience, explaining that his run from the Nazis began when his father was called to “work” for the Third Reich when he was about 10 years old. At that time, it was not known to Goldsmith that his father was actually being sent to Auschwitz, a concentration camp, where he was put to death in the gas chambers. Once the Nazis took his father away, Goldsmith’s mother joined the resistance, and sent Goldsmith and his sister into hiding. 

After the war ended several years later, Goldsmith was reunited with his mother, who had a leg blown off in a bombing.

The fifth-grade class sat in silence as Goldsmith shared his recollections and told of the horrors that occurred during the war. Goldsmith also showed students pictures he took of Denmark and places he visited when he finally returned to the country.

Goodsmith’s speech marked the culmination of the novel, “Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry, which taught students about the Holocaust and the tragedies that occurred during the Nazi occupation of Europe.

“This assembly was an emotional experience for the fifth-grade class,” Simmons Elementary Principal Karen Kanter said. “The opportunity to meet Danny, a real survivor of the Holocaust, gave students a major connection to that period of history.”


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