Daniel Gold is visiting Dunedin as part of a speaking tour
sharing his experience of how he survived the Holocaust.
Photo by Peter McIntosh.
A holocaust survivor visiting Dunedin hopes sharing his
experience will help ensure the horrors he experienced are not
Daniel Gold, born in Lithuania in 1937 and now living in
Israel, was in Dunedin yesterday as part of a speaking tour
of New Zealand.
Speaking to the Otago Daily Times before a speaking
engagement at the University of Otago, Prof Gold, now in his
late 70s, shared how he survived the Nazi occupation of
Being among a dwindling number of Holocaust survivors, he
felt it was important to share his story to prevent such
horrors being repeated.
Despite being only 4 when the Nazi occupation of Lithuania
started in 1941, Prof Gold had a good memory of what went on
during the occupation.
''In general, I would say that traumatic memories even remain
with young children and I've had a few of them.''
Strangely, his first memory of a German officer was a
''My first memory of my encounter with the Germans was with a
German officer ... and he was very friendly - he put me on
Things deteriorated from there and his grandparents and
mother were among the vast majority of Lithuanian Jews who
did not survive World War 2.
His first major traumatic experience was of his family being
kicked from their home and moved to a ghetto, but the day he
remembers as being ''the most traumatic'' in his life was
when all children at the ghetto were rounded up and taken
On the day, his mother, sensing something was wrong, hid him
and some of his cousins in a cellar.
''It was still early morning and she closed the fold-door and
put a rug over it and then a table over it and the Germans
used Ukrainian co-operative soldiers to ... collect the
''We were in the cellar and over our heads we heard them
rummaging and roaming about. We were all the time standing
there entirely quiet, not even whispering because my mother
had warned us that if they discovered us they would kill us.
''Later on when I was in Israel, I became an air force pilot
and was very often shot at and I could see the bullets coming
at me because they had tracers.
''It was scary, but it wasn't anything compared to the
feeling I had in that cellar.''
In the summer of 1944, just before the liquidation of the
ghetto, he escaped the camp with his aunt and uncle and three
They were to find refuge with a Lithuanian peasant family,
living in cramped conditions under the floor until Lithuania
was liberated by the Russians three and-a-half months later.
In 1946, he was reunited with his father, who survived the
Dachau concentration camp in Germany.
''We reached Munich central train station and when I exited
the train station my father was there, waiting for me.''
He never found out how his mother died.