South Carolina Council on the Holocaust

“The work that the SC Council on the Holocaust does is so important for our students in South Carolina. Having a chance to discuss and reflect on the past gives students the tools to be better citizens for our future.”

--Molly Spearman, State Superintendent of Education

See our Video Testimonies and Stories!

The Survivors' Stories -- A Virtual Library

The South Carolina Council on the Holocaust presents the Survivors' Stories
in a Virtual Library -- a digital information resource.



...Ben Stern was born in 1924 in Kielce (Kel-Sa), Poland, the youngest of four children. He tells about his first experiences with the Nazis and his life in the ghetto of Lodz (Ludge). His story begins at age 15 in 1939 shortly after the Germans had occupied Poland.


...Bert Gosschalk was born in 1920 in a little village called Wihe in Holland. When he was two or three years old, his family moved to the nearby town of Deventer where he went to school and college. He came from a family of five, two brothers and two sisters. All five survived the war. The Germans occupied Holland in 1940 and in 1942, Bert and his wife decided to go into hiding to avoid capture by the Nazis. Bert describes his hiding place and how the actions of the Dutch resistance led to his capture.


...Bluma Goldberg was born in Poland in a small town called Pinczow (Pin-Shawv). When the Nazis invaded her town in 1939, they set fire to most of it. Bluma's house was destroyed and the family moved in with an uncle. In 1942, the family heard rumors that the Germans were rounding up all the Jewish people. Bluma and her sister spent several months hiding in the dense forests near their village. After learning that someone had informed on them to the Nazis, they decided to turn themselves in to Nazi authorities.


...Francine Taylor was born in Poland in 1928. Her family moved to France when she was two years old. They were living in Paris on June 14, 1940, when the French capital fell to the Germans. Suddenly the family found itself in Occupied France. Not long after that Francine's parents sent her out of Paris for the summer. She was still there when her father was arrested by the Nazis and sent to a concentration camp. A cousin called her from Paris to warn her that the Nazis were rounding up all the Jews in Paris. She could not return to Paris. Instead she was told to make her way across the border to Free France where her mother and sister would be waiting. Taking her bicycle and a small suitcase filled with summer clothes, she began a 1000-kilometer journey. In this passage, she describes the train ride that was a part of her flight.


...Leo Diamantstein was born in Heidelberg, Germany in 1924. He was the middle child in a family of three boys. His family moved to the city of Frankfurt where the events he describes took place.


...Pincus Kolender was born in the city of Bochnia, Poland in 1926. He had two brothers and a sister. Bochnia had a large Jewish community with many synagogues, Jewish houses of worship, and many schools for Jewish children. Although his family always experienced some anti-Semitism, his early life was happy. Pincus describes how life began to change when he was twelve.


...Renee Kolender was born in Poland in 1922 in a town called Kozenice (Co-Za-Nee-Cha) about 90 kilometers from Warsaw. She had two brothers. Her father was an accountant who worked in the town's only bank before the war started. She was seventeen when her family was put in the Kozenice ghetto.


...Rudy Herz was born in a very small town called Stommeln on the outskirts of Cologne, Germany in 1925. He came from a family of six children. In the years before Hitler came to power, Rudy rarely experienced any open anti-Semitism. He was seven years old when he went to school one day to find some surprising changes.


...Trude Heller was born in Vienna in 1922. She was fifteen years old in March 1938 when Hitler took over Austria. She describes how life changed for her and her parents after the Nazis gained control of her country.

About the Virtual Library

The Virtual Library Project is an information repository designed to support the mission of the South Carolina Council on the Holocaust (SCCH). We make this data available for the purpose of research and education. We make no representation about the completeness, accuracy or consistency of the data in our repository or of those with which we inter-operate. Virtually all the data in our repository originates elsewhere, and we cannot guarantee its correctness.

Some of the particular collections to which we provide access contain restrictions about repackaging, commercial use, or other aspects of their use.

The Virtual Library complies with the United States Copyright Law and promotes copyright compliance among its users and among its staff.

All material is the property of the SCCH or South Carolina Liberators and Survivors. Materials may be used for educational purposes only. Other uses require written permission from SCCH.

Read more about our the Holocaust, Liberators, or see our related videos.