Goldberg-Goldberg family. Collection

Language of Description
1 Jan 1927 - 31 Dec 2013
Level of Description
  • French
  • Dutch
EHRI Partner

Extent and Medium

511 digitised images (254 documents, 77 photos and 6 objects)


Biographical History

Sarah Goldberg was born on 1st January 1921 in Radoszyce, Poland, as the daughter of Bereck Goldberg and Jenta Ejsenstejn. Jenta passed away only a few months after Sarah’s birth, leaving Bereck behind with five children: Estera (born on 10 June 1903 in Warta, Poland), twins Szypra alias Charlotte and Elja Lejba alias Leon (born on 1st October 1910 in Radoszyce), Chaja Dwojra alias Helene (born on 5 May 1916 in Radoszyce) and Sarah. Bereck was a Cohen and remarried Rywka Frenkel (born in 1885 in Lodz, Poland) in 1927. The Goldberg family lived several years in Lodz, before migrating to Belgium in 1929. Sarah Goldberg followed her father and older siblings in September 1930. The family settled in Anderlecht where Sarah went to school. Her brother-in-law Marcus Lustbader, husband of Estera Goldberg, made sure Sarah could go to the Marius Renard institute to study commerce. As a teenager, she became politically aware and developed an affinity with communism. She joined sports club Unité which served as a cover for political education and sold pins to collect money in support of the International Brigades fighting in the Spanish Civil War. Upon the German invasion of Belgium on 10 May 1940, Sarah Goldberg fled south with her sister Estera and brother-in-law Marcus. The family ended up in Revel, France, where Sarah worked for the police commissioner, drafting lists of wanted republicans who had fought in the Spanish civil war and who had escaped from French internment camps. Sarah was able to warn several of the men before returning to Belgium later in 1940 where she joined the Jeunes Gardes Socialistes Unifiés and was involved in the distribution of clandestine pamphlets. In 1941, Sarah joined the communist espionage network known as the Red Orchestra after being in contact with Herman Isbutsky. She took on the false name ‘Lily’, and learned to operate a radio and how to send messages in Morse code. Many of her comrades were arrested, tortured and murdered. After Herman Isbutsky’s arrest in the summer of 1942, Sarah joined the armed partisans as ‘Denise’ and became a courier. She was also involved in the elimination of collaborators and snitches. In the night of 4 June 1943 Sarah Goldberg was arrested in her hiding place in Forest, Brussels, together with her fiancée Chaim Hersz alias Henri Wajnberg (born on 29 December 1921 in Warsaw, Poland) and their friend and fellow resistance fighter Lola Berliner. Sarah and Henri only admitted to being Jewish and were sent to the Dossin barracks where they were reunited with several other friends from the resistance. On 31 July 1943, Sarah and Henri were deported from the Dossin barracks to Auschwitz-Birkenau via Transport XXI. An en route escape attempt failed. Henri would be killed on 25 January 1944 after five months of slave labour in the Jaworzno camp. Sarah, upon arrival and after being selected as a forced labourer, joined the camp resistance and became part of the group led by Mala Zimetbaum and Mala’s cousin Gitel alias Giza Wachspress. Sarah survived typhoid fever and the death marches to Ravensbrück and Malchow in January 1945. She was eventually liberated in April 1945 and repatriated to Belgium. Upon her return, Sarah Goldberg learned her only remaining relative was her oldest sister Estera Goldberg who had survived the war hidden in a monastery in Tienen with her baby boy Marc Lustbader. Estera’s husband Marcus Lustbader had been deported from the Dossin barracks via Transport XX but survived and was repatriated from Buchenwald. Sarah’s father Bereck Goldberg and stepmother Rywka Frenkel did not survive deportation via Transport XI on 26 September 1942. Sarah’s three other siblings were also killed. In 1949, Sarah married Icek alias Jacques Goldberg, widower of Anne Dorn, and father of Paul and André Goldberg. Jacques (born on 3 May 1916 in Warsaw, Poland) and his family had survived the war with the help of priest Laurent Couppé, posing as the Goffin family. In 1942, when the Sicherheitspolizei-Sicherheitsdienst had come to arrest Jacques’ brother Simon who was a resistance fighter, their father Pinkas Goldberg had been arrested instead of his son and Couppé had tried to intervene but without any luck. Pinkus would not survive deportation from the Dossin barracks to Auschwitz-Birkenau via Transport V. Simon Goldberg too would be arrested and deported. He perished in Dachau a few days before the liberation. However, Couppé was able to rescue Jacques who was involved in distributing illegal newspapers, as well as Jacques’ mother Falle Mendelson and siblings Nina and Henri Goldberg by finding them different hiding places. In 1974, Laurent Couppé was recognised as a Righteous amongst the Nations by Yad Vashem. After the marriage of Sarah Goldberg and Jacques Goldberg which would lead to the birth of two more sons named Simon and Michel, the couple remained in close contact with Laurent Couppé until Couppé’s death in 1986. Sarah and Jacques became very active members of associations of former resistance fighters and deportees, including the association of the Independent Front or Front de l’Indépendance. Sarah was recognised as a political prisoner and received medals for her resistance activities. The couple continued to fight for human rights and Sarah became one of the first members of the Belgian branch of Amnesty International. She was a much appreciated witness who spoke to many school groups about her experiences during the war. Jacques Goldberg passed away in 1994, Sarah Goldberg in 2003. In 2013 a street in Woluwe-Saint-Lambert, Brussels, was named after them.

Archival History

The sons of Sarah Goldberg kindly entrusted a selection of original documents, photos and objects from their family archive to Kazerne Dossin in 2013 and in 2019. Some of the items were returned to the family after digitisation.


Simon and Michel Goldberg, sons of Jacques and Sarah Goldberg-Goldberg, 2013 and 2019

Scope and Content

This collection contains: pre-war and wartime pictures of Sarah Goldberg’s family, and a group photo of repatriated female Auschwitz survivors ; a testimony written post-war by Sarah Goldberg, documenting her experiences in the concentration camps ; documents regarding the wartime and post-war life of the family of Jacques Goldberg, future husband of Sarah Goldberg, in hiding as the Goffin family, including several fake Belgian IDs ; propaganda leaflets ; three worn yellow stars ; photocopy of a letter sent by Sarah Goldberg and her fiancée Henri Wajnberg after their arrest to Henri’s family ; post-war ID cards and certificates documenting Sarah and Jacques Goldberg's membership of several communist and Jewish resistance networks and survivor associations, including the Independent Front or Front de l’Indépendance ; three post-war paintings depicting Sarah Goldberg ; photos and documents regarding the recognition of priest Laurent Couppé, rescuer of the family of Jacques Goldberg, as Righteous among the Nations by Yad Vashem, and the planting of a tree in his honour ; the obituary of Laurent Couppé in the magazine “Geloof en Leven” ; a pamphlet documenting Jacques and Sarah Goldberg’s life drafted for the inauguration of the street in Brussels named after them in 2013.


No further accruals are to be expected

Conditions Governing Access

Contact Kazerne Dossin Documentation Centre:

Conditions Governing Reproduction

Contact Kazerne Dossin Documentation Centre:

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The testimony written post-war by Sarah Goldberg is physically stored in the precious prints collection as T000482.

Existence and Location of Originals

  • The items scanned under the numbers KD_00300_000065 to KD_00300_000161 have been returned to the Goldberg family.

Related Units of Description

  • An interview with Sarah Goldberg is part of the Johannes Blum collection (KD_00016).


This description is derived directly from structured data provided to EHRI by a partner institution. This collection holding institution considers this description as an accurate reflection of the archival holdings to which it refers at the moment of data transfer.