Elly Gotz was born in 1928 in Kovno (Kaunas), Lithuania. When he was 13 years old, Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union and Elly and his family were forced into a ghetto. When the ghetto was later liquidated, Elly was transported to the Dachau concentration camp, where he labored in an underground factory for a German company named Moll.
After being liberated in 1945, Elly and his family lived in Germany, desperate to emigrate. In the spring of 1947, they were accepted to Norway as refugees, and later that year they were able to immigrate to Zimbabwe to join extended family members. Elly eventually moved to Johannesburg and then Toronto, where he established several businesses and achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a pilot. In 2017, at the age of 89, he fulfilled another dream by going skydiving.
Explore Elly’s remarkable journey of survival and rebuilding in this Stories Survive Speaker Series program.
Watch the program below.
This program’s original recording transcript is below. This transcription was created automatically during a live program so may contain inaccurate transcriptions of some words.
Ari Goldstein: i'm Ari Goldstein Senior Public programs producer at the Museum of Jewish heritage, a living memorial to the Holocaust and.
00:00:46.650 --> 00:00:53.370
Ari Goldstein: it's a real pleasure to welcome you to today's program with the amazing le god's will share his story with us today.
00:00:54.330 --> 00:01:02.970
Ari Goldstein: allie is an electrical engineer a businessman pilot and an author and a Holocaust survivor with an extraordinary story.
00:01:03.690 --> 00:01:14.070
Ari Goldstein: He was born in Lithuania, he spent his teenage years and and Nazi ghetto there and later in a concentration camp Doc out where he was liberated in 1945 by the American army.
00:01:14.700 --> 00:01:23.700
Ari Goldstein: After the war le made his way from Germany through Norway, Zimbabwe and South Africa eventually to candidate 1964 where he lives today.
00:01:24.690 --> 00:01:31.410
Ari Goldstein: With your story shortly, but you can order his book flights of spirit at the link that'll be in the zoom chat in just a moment.
00:01:32.130 --> 00:01:39.690
Ari Goldstein: You think Jana siegel for bringing la to our attention and all of our audience members from around the world for joining us today.
00:01:40.650 --> 00:01:52.530
Ari Goldstein: ellie is going to speak for about an hour and then we'll open it up to audience questions so if you have questions at any time during his presentation, please feel free to share them in the zoom Q amp a box and we'll get to as many as we can.
00:01:53.430 --> 00:01:56.460
Ari Goldstein: allie Thank you so much for being with us feel free to get started.
00:01:57.240 --> 00:02:04.770
Elly Gotz: Thank you very much, thank you very wonderful to be here with you my new friends, my friends, and my new friends.
00:02:05.820 --> 00:02:15.450
Elly Gotz: i'm going to talk today about the whole course, but not in broad terms, my experience in the whole of course my life I was there.
00:02:16.830 --> 00:02:32.610
Elly Gotz: We are all locked up now in apartments and houses, we are afraid to go out because of covert i've been locked up worse, three years after the war started for me in 1941 we were still locked up in the ghetto.
00:02:33.660 --> 00:02:44.670
Elly Gotz: And then they get them out of 70,000 Jews, starting in 1941 there were only about 8000 of us left the restaurant killed.
00:02:45.570 --> 00:02:58.320
Elly Gotz: And now the Russian army was coming close what will happen to us in the switchover when the Germans, will be driven out and the Russian army will come in, we were very afraid.
00:02:59.340 --> 00:03:07.200
Elly Gotz: And the Nazis announced we're not when I say Nazi I mean the National Socialist Party of Germany hitless party.
00:03:08.220 --> 00:03:15.870
Elly Gotz: And then that is announced, we are liquidating the ghetto liquidation for osmond one thing that going to kill us.
00:03:16.860 --> 00:03:30.300
Elly Gotz: But they said, we are taking you guys somewhere else to work we did not believe them we've our shoes are going to kill us give us on the nine sport up on the hill very close to the ghetto.
00:03:32.520 --> 00:03:44.700
Elly Gotz: Our family had a meeting we decided, we are not going what they want to take us, we are going to hide and if they find us, we will commit suicide, we are not going to be shot up on the hill.
00:03:46.320 --> 00:03:58.620
Elly Gotz: Our whole family, we went down to look for a hiding place we lived in that big wooden House a two story house, we had one small room my parents and I I was an only child.
00:04:00.120 --> 00:04:00.450
Elly Gotz: and
00:04:01.470 --> 00:04:11.310
Elly Gotz: We went down into the basement to look for hiding places and we founded the cement foundation had storage rooms and we opened the first door.
00:04:11.880 --> 00:04:30.210
Elly Gotz: and furniture junk furniture and spider webs we cleaned it all out, we put the furniture in another room across the passage we brought in water and food to last us for about two weeks, then we dragged the heavy cupboard in front of the door to.
00:04:31.290 --> 00:04:46.110
Elly Gotz: not make it not obvious that that was the daughter, and we are whole family my three uncles my aunt my family and my parents and I we crawled in through the cupboard We broke the back of the cupboard and we crawled into the room.
00:04:47.400 --> 00:04:59.550
Elly Gotz: And as soon as we got inside everyone turned to my mother, Sonia are you ready ready to commit suicide my mother was a nurse she works in the hospital.
00:05:00.570 --> 00:05:09.450
Elly Gotz: assisting in operations they'll be expected her to know how to do it, and my mother said very businesslike yes i'm ready.
00:05:10.170 --> 00:05:19.290
Elly Gotz: She laid out that tray with a white cloth very clean and non he had the number of syringes lying the field with a drug.
00:05:20.100 --> 00:05:40.290
Elly Gotz: And she explained this drug we give it to older people when their heart is beating too slow, but I will give everyone allowed those it will make the heart race and stop create out of that are you sure it will work we asked them i'm sure I confirmed with a surgeon.
00:05:41.340 --> 00:05:43.590
Elly Gotz: A large those would give a half of that.
00:05:45.690 --> 00:06:01.290
Elly Gotz: I was 16 year old I was sitting there on the how chair watching my mother prepare i've done it i've seen it before she picks a bit of cotton wool and puts it on every syringe and she has a bottle of alcohol on the side.
00:06:03.210 --> 00:06:16.680
Elly Gotz: And i'm sinking mother, I said, this is the last injection, we are not afraid dying of a of an infection, you know this is we're going to have a heart attack forget about the cotton wool and alcohol you won't have time.
00:06:17.520 --> 00:06:25.890
Elly Gotz: Everybody laughed except my mother, she said i've been doing it like that, all my life, but she took away the cotton wool and alcohol.
00:06:27.060 --> 00:06:36.450
Elly Gotz: And I was sitting there wondering what's it like to die of a heart attack doesn't the brain gone when the heart stops must be painful.
00:06:37.530 --> 00:06:43.890
Elly Gotz: I decided i'm going first, first of all i'm an only child I always come first.
00:06:45.090 --> 00:06:49.050
Elly Gotz: But the main reason was I didn't want to see my family die.
00:06:50.400 --> 00:06:55.380
Elly Gotz: I was afraid they might lie on the floor screaming in pain I don't know what a heart attack is like.
00:06:56.400 --> 00:06:58.950
Elly Gotz: I don't want to see i'm going first.
00:07:00.630 --> 00:07:06.780
Elly Gotz: Three days and nights we sat in that room they a night look the same, we have no window.
00:07:08.340 --> 00:07:17.820
Elly Gotz: On the force morning to soldiers are coming down the stairs we can hear them talking they come passed out cupboard they go to the end of the passage.
00:07:18.360 --> 00:07:33.780
Elly Gotz: They kicking a couple of doors they open the door here, though, though they are coming back my mother is holding a syringe and I hand and I am first i'm holding my hand out i'm ready if they start moving the cupboard she will inject.
00:07:36.060 --> 00:07:43.020
Elly Gotz: I was also worried that my mother might have difficulty injecting me but I decided she's a strong woman she won't leave me behind.
00:07:44.190 --> 00:07:45.570
Elly Gotz: She seemed very determined.
00:07:47.430 --> 00:08:00.810
Elly Gotz: And the two soldiers are talking to each other and then suddenly one of them goes to the room opposite where we start the furniture and it comes back and it tells the other one come let's go down, no juice here just furniture.
00:08:02.160 --> 00:08:10.710
Elly Gotz: They walked out my mother put away the syringe we are sitting again two days or three days I can't remember.
00:08:13.200 --> 00:08:21.870
Elly Gotz: Suddenly, when I was lying on the floor on the blanket I couldn't sit on the Chair anymore suddenly one of my uncle's picks up he says.
00:08:22.560 --> 00:08:35.820
Elly Gotz: You know I think the Germans, must be gone already the Russian army was just outside the city, we could feel the guns, how long will it take them to drive out the Germans let's go out and have a look, we might be free, our ready.
00:08:36.930 --> 00:08:39.510
Elly Gotz: No one knows, to tell us that to come out.
00:08:40.740 --> 00:08:59.910
Elly Gotz: So we crawled through the Kaaba the game and we went outside and we see the German army pseudo the soldiers are still there, the gods and our people are marching to a train a train they don't need a train to walk us up the hill to kill us.
00:09:00.960 --> 00:09:04.980
Elly Gotz: Perhaps they didn't lie to us Pepsi are taking us somewhere to work.
00:09:06.450 --> 00:09:10.020
Elly Gotz: Hope burns internal we went to the train.
00:09:11.310 --> 00:09:27.270
Elly Gotz: What happened in the ghetto in three long years that would make a woman, like my mother willing to kill have family and hustle and this is a story of ghetto calmness called know, and I will now show you some pictures.
00:09:28.680 --> 00:09:37.980
Elly Gotz: By the way, my email is le firstname.lastname@example.org and if anyone wants to write to me later because they didn't get the question you're welcome.
00:09:39.390 --> 00:09:44.010
Elly Gotz: So the wall started 1941 for us.
00:09:44.460 --> 00:09:49.020
Ari Goldstein: ellie i'm just going to interrupt to say that we cannot see your slides full screen right now.
00:09:50.910 --> 00:09:55.320
Ari Goldstein: Maybe you can try stopping the share and then redoing.
00:09:55.320 --> 00:10:01.440
Elly Gotz: Okay try rejoin yes okay stop sharing let's try it again.
00:10:06.150 --> 00:10:06.840
Elly Gotz: How is that.
00:10:08.850 --> 00:10:10.050
Ari Goldstein: This is perfect, thank you.
00:10:10.350 --> 00:10:18.960
Elly Gotz: yeah okay good wonderful so here is a map of Europe and Lithuania, you can see circled in red.
00:10:20.040 --> 00:10:30.390
Elly Gotz: 1941 the war started in 1939 when Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in Poland and took a piece half of Poland here.
00:10:31.470 --> 00:10:44.700
Elly Gotz: and England declared war, because they had an agreement with Poland, but and Russia took the other half, including Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, they occupied us we became Soviet republics.
00:10:45.270 --> 00:10:57.450
Elly Gotz: which also wasn't good, but now in 1941 on the 22nd of June Germany marched on Poland on Russia on the Soviet Union, without declaring war.
00:10:58.770 --> 00:11:14.310
Elly Gotz: And immediately our country was occupied the occupy the whole of Europe, all the way, France, Belgium, Holland were occupied Italy was a partner, the whole of south in Europe from Greece to do Romanian Hungary.
00:11:14.910 --> 00:11:25.560
Elly Gotz: All down in a huge part of Russia Moscow very nearly fell to the German army, it was a massive attack on the world.
00:11:27.000 --> 00:11:29.580
Elly Gotz: Before the War I lived in normal life.
00:11:31.650 --> 00:11:41.580
Elly Gotz: yeah and was my mother, when I was nine year old my mother was a nurse in the hospital assisting in operations, my father worked in a bank as a bookkeeper.
00:11:42.120 --> 00:11:51.300
Elly Gotz: He wanted to be an engineer by the First World War interrupted his studies, he only got two years, so he had to come back to this arena from St Petersburg.
00:11:52.290 --> 00:12:03.030
Elly Gotz: and become a bookkeeper which made did not make him happy, but that's what he did, and I went to school I left school, I had a good time in school.
00:12:04.200 --> 00:12:24.060
Elly Gotz: And I developed a special interest in mathematics and physics and science and I loved history, I read history books shank curvature famous Polish writer wrote massive histories of the area and I loved him, and when I turned 17 in 1941.
00:12:25.530 --> 00:12:26.460
Elly Gotz: And one moment.
00:12:33.570 --> 00:12:47.970
Elly Gotz: When I turned 18 I graduated from grade six and I was ready to go to high school for us high school was great seven to 12 and I got this uniform, I was very proud miss my uniform.
00:12:49.860 --> 00:12:50.310
Elly Gotz: I.
00:12:51.660 --> 00:13:03.180
Elly Gotz: was looking forward to going to high school at that time I had a hobby I was building model airplanes from bounds of food, all the time.
00:13:03.660 --> 00:13:16.740
Elly Gotz: I learned to design my own airplanes I was building small ones to fly indoors in the school and loved ones to fly outside big lie those smaller place with propellers with rubber bands.
00:13:17.850 --> 00:13:29.070
Elly Gotz: I learned it all and I had a dream, when I was 13 I dreamt i'm going to be an engineer perhaps an aeroplane engineer.
00:13:30.210 --> 00:13:35.010
Elly Gotz: and also a pilot, I want to fly a plane, one day, that was my dream.
00:13:36.360 --> 00:13:41.160
Elly Gotz: The war started an attack on the Jews local Lithuanian.
00:13:42.510 --> 00:13:45.780
Elly Gotz: Robust bad people they put on the right, on band.
00:13:46.800 --> 00:13:55.080
Elly Gotz: And they took a rifle and they went out and they grabbed using the street, this was a poor suburb Slovakia, which later became the ghetto.
00:13:55.710 --> 00:14:06.270
Elly Gotz: They grab people the Jewish people pay them up rob them and kill them these people killed over 6000 Jews in the first six weeks of the war.
00:14:07.230 --> 00:14:19.650
Elly Gotz: They formed the provisional government, the Lithuanians who came to the Nazis to his German troops from Germany they saw they will be independent again after Russia had occupied Ross.
00:14:20.550 --> 00:14:31.050
Elly Gotz: And the provisional government very anti Semitic immediately announced the first law Jews are not citizens of Lithuania.
00:14:32.220 --> 00:14:35.460
Elly Gotz: Use have lived in Lithuania over 800 years.
00:14:36.840 --> 00:14:49.440
Elly Gotz: 670 years ago in certain hundred and 88, for example, without us that great up without us of Lithuania granted juice privileges already in several pounds.
00:14:50.730 --> 00:15:00.360
Elly Gotz: we've are not citizens of Lithuania anymore and other rules, the Jews have to walk on the side can't walk on the sidewalk data to walk in the gutter.
00:15:01.380 --> 00:15:13.950
Elly Gotz: All kinds of horrible rules and soon after they said, we are putting, then the Germans takeover closed up the provisional government, we are ruling the country now they said.
00:15:15.000 --> 00:15:28.440
Elly Gotz: And they announced we hate the Jews, the Jews, should not be part of society, we are going to put them in a ghetto they adopted the old 500 year old idea of a yet from Venice.
00:15:29.550 --> 00:15:30.060
Elly Gotz: ghetto.
00:15:32.100 --> 00:15:46.290
Elly Gotz: They put us in an old part of town they surrounded it was barbed wire 6000 Lithuanians had to move out Catholics and 70,000 Jews moved in.
00:15:47.190 --> 00:15:58.440
Elly Gotz: crowded conditions, my parents and I, we got one small room, this is a gate of the ghetto people had to go and work every morning without pay and they had to line up in front of the gate.
00:16:01.320 --> 00:16:02.760
Elly Gotz: They central us in the ghetto.
00:16:03.870 --> 00:16:12.570
Elly Gotz: And first thing they said, we are coming door to door, you must give up all your valuables gold, silver money jewelry give it up.
00:16:13.230 --> 00:16:22.050
Elly Gotz: If you hide it and we find it we will kill you on the spot very dangerous two soldiers came into our room they feel the room.
00:16:22.920 --> 00:16:35.100
Elly Gotz: put on the table money gold, what have you got my mother brought her jewelry my father empty his pockets were shaking hands with the money on the table, my mother brought a pair of silver candlesticks.
00:16:36.150 --> 00:16:38.880
Elly Gotz: We are not wealthy people we didn't have much.
00:16:40.920 --> 00:16:49.980
Elly Gotz: Have you bought a camera, yes, we have a camera on my father any camera bring it here, what about first do you have first my mother brought her only for.
00:16:50.940 --> 00:17:03.630
Elly Gotz: They took it all away packed it up wrote up a list of what they stole from us, and then, as far surname wrote it on top and gave us a copy they gave us a receipt after robbing us.
00:17:05.100 --> 00:17:09.810
Elly Gotz: After that came another order you must give up all your books Jews don't need books.
00:17:11.250 --> 00:17:19.680
Elly Gotz: On wealth help me money and gold we didn't have but books, we had lots of books, my father love books.
00:17:21.210 --> 00:17:25.950
Elly Gotz: He used to buy a book every Friday he couldn't afford to.
00:17:27.360 --> 00:17:32.040
Elly Gotz: He had a big library of good books that classics in several languages.
00:17:33.660 --> 00:17:45.270
Elly Gotz: Now, when we had to move into the ghetto my father packed all the books in confidence and the sister that all the carpets have to come to the ghetto my mother wanted to bring other things, but my father insisted on.
00:17:46.380 --> 00:17:53.970
Elly Gotz: Now we are living in a small room there is no place, though all books are lined up on the side of the room by the wall.
00:17:55.230 --> 00:18:11.430
Elly Gotz: He has to give up his books my bedroom is very upset he went into his books, he pulled out, unless important books, a couple put them in a wheelbarrow to show that we are doing it, and he and I went with a wheelbarrow to deliver the books to the collection Center.
00:18:12.510 --> 00:18:24.690
Elly Gotz: And that happened to be the local synagogue a small synagogue they ripped out all the benches from the synagogue through them in the yard and they told everybody to throw the books on the floor.
00:18:26.100 --> 00:18:40.830
Elly Gotz: When we arrived noontime an amazing sight greeted us there were books from the floor halfway up the wall and mountain of books and people were coming in and climbing on the books and falling slipping and dropping mobile.
00:18:42.270 --> 00:18:50.940
Elly Gotz: My father looks around and he says to me le you notice with the books, they trust us there are no soldiers, nobody is watching us.
00:18:51.840 --> 00:19:09.240
Elly Gotz: So you can have a look, he bends down he picks up a book another book he picks up two volumes or three more lying on the floor look at this, he says, pushing the golden addition Pushkin is a greatest right Russian poet.
00:19:11.040 --> 00:19:14.640
Elly Gotz: He died 100 years before in 1868 in.
00:19:19.350 --> 00:19:19.920
Elly Gotz: i'm sorry.
00:19:22.740 --> 00:19:33.240
Elly Gotz: What the hundred years he died they published five volumes of the golden edition, my father says, I always wanted to buy it, but I couldn't afford it.
00:19:33.990 --> 00:19:51.390
Elly Gotz: And now it's on the floor le they can't our books tell not valuable will will take Pushkin and we'll take it home, then it goes around and it picks up other books German the classics in Russia and the Yiddish he picked up the best books that he didn't have.
00:19:52.740 --> 00:20:05.190
Elly Gotz: After a while, I said that I can't take anymore it's full okay cover it with a newspaper, we are going home and we went home with a heavy real borrow packed with the best books, you could find.
00:20:07.830 --> 00:20:21.720
Elly Gotz: me and we went back seven times we went back empty and we came back full the best books, you could pick my mother was beside herself, what are you doing you're one of them to kill them coming kill us they'll give us all the books.
00:20:23.190 --> 00:20:31.050
Elly Gotz: That are books on the floor on the bed on the table, you couldn't walk through my father said don't worry, we are not keeping them in the House.
00:20:31.590 --> 00:20:48.180
Elly Gotz: He told me le climbed the ladder in the shed and put all the books on the ceiling them outside the House was a garden shed a big one, and on the rafters of our boards put them on top if anybody finds them it's not ours, we don't know put them down.
00:20:49.260 --> 00:21:04.470
Elly Gotz: And that's what I did I put all the books up there, then I made bookshelves I took bricks and boards and I made bookshelves and I sorted out my library and I had the library of Europe in front of me.
00:21:06.540 --> 00:21:28.440
Elly Gotz: In the meantime, in order, came all Jews in the ghetto from the age of 15 to the age of 65 women 55 have to come to work they have to come in front of the get the gates here, these are the old houses in the ghetto would houses, we live downtown we lived in Nice houses, but this one's old.
00:21:29.850 --> 00:21:39.060
Elly Gotz: They said come here and we will tell you what to work, we need 200 people to come and dig trenches for a road 200 people walked out.
00:21:40.320 --> 00:21:54.510
Elly Gotz: A number of soldiers surrounded them to get them to work and brought them back at night, we need 50 people to clean the hospitals laws 50 people went out, we are not paying you you're lucky you're getting food they said.
00:21:56.880 --> 00:21:59.640
Elly Gotz: I didn't have to go, I was fish, I was 17.
00:22:00.720 --> 00:22:08.310
Elly Gotz: So I started reading I knew the Yiddish literature and the lusitania literature very well.
00:22:09.720 --> 00:22:22.260
Elly Gotz: By then, by setting but I didn't know the Russian and German literature, and that was my chance I taught myself to read Russian very quickly well it's a different alphabet.
00:22:23.550 --> 00:22:29.610
Elly Gotz: And I started to read I learned Pushkin by heart, I still remember points now beautiful poetry.
00:22:30.840 --> 00:22:38.310
Elly Gotz: I read Tolstoy Anna karenina war and peace, the famous the classics I read those three year skew is great difficulty.
00:22:39.540 --> 00:22:52.710
Elly Gotz: I read the German literature gifted sheila Heinen the point during the poets That was my education, I never went to high school, I never got to use my uniform.
00:22:55.980 --> 00:23:03.690
Elly Gotz: They get a life in the ghetto settle down people went to work, they were tired they've got some food.
00:23:05.040 --> 00:23:14.970
Elly Gotz: We got used to living in the ghetto August September, October 1941 we settled down Saturday thousand Jews crowded conditions.
00:23:17.880 --> 00:23:18.570
Elly Gotz: Suddenly.
00:23:19.860 --> 00:23:28.590
Elly Gotz: And announcement tomorrow, nobody goes to work and of October everybody gather in the big open field.
00:23:31.140 --> 00:23:36.240
Elly Gotz: we've the doors open if we find anyone in the House, they will be shot on the spot.
00:23:37.350 --> 00:23:48.480
Elly Gotz: 30,000 Jews came out and big crowd and outcomes a soldier and officer of the SS SS the worst church tougher and heat loss volunteer army.
00:23:50.250 --> 00:24:11.550
Elly Gotz: comes out climbs on a cotton on a box and he says, everybody walked past me in families this family go to the right back to the ghetto this family go to the left standbys offense by the fence our dog the dog soldier standing though they can't run away lyft stripe lyft stripe.
00:24:13.290 --> 00:24:25.500
Elly Gotz: The whole day till six o'clock in the evening at the end of the day, 10,000 people are standing by the fence 20,000 including my family back in the ghetto, and the following morning.
00:24:26.700 --> 00:24:41.520
Elly Gotz: Those 10,000 people marched away up the hill away from the ghetto towards the nines for the nines fourth is a military compound soldiers is the practice shooting and marching.
00:24:44.310 --> 00:24:52.020
Elly Gotz: 10,000 men, women and children were murdered in one day on the 29th of October 1941.
00:24:53.130 --> 00:25:00.690
Elly Gotz: They were killed, they were shocked with machine guns and their bodies were thrown in long long trenches as well done before.
00:25:02.820 --> 00:25:04.380
Elly Gotz: We found out what happened down.
00:25:07.470 --> 00:25:18.330
Elly Gotz: Who was a man who salted us, the man who was in charge of the whole operation we know him well in Canada, because that helmet router is a war criminal.
00:25:19.170 --> 00:25:30.300
Elly Gotz: he's he killed civilians, he arrived in Canada than 1950 he got citizenship, he lived a good life here, he bought a motel in the town later he moved to Toronto.
00:25:32.370 --> 00:25:47.550
Elly Gotz: We nobody knew who he was the gentleman sent out lists was people to everybody to America to Canada to the world find these people send them back to us, they are no other us, we wanted to them and throw them in court.
00:25:49.800 --> 00:26:09.600
Elly Gotz: Can Canada didn't do much, and this man lift quietly Finally, he sold his motel and he came to live in Toronto, where I live, and he was not far from my house, he was living in bought a house, but in 1982 they found in our Royal mounted police founding.
00:26:10.740 --> 00:26:18.210
Elly Gotz: They put him in court and the judge said this man is charged with 11,584 murders.
00:26:20.130 --> 00:26:33.210
Elly Gotz: He should be tried here he's a Canadian citizen, but we don't know anything about him send him to Germany they sent him to Germany he died eight months later in the hospital of cancer nothing happened doing.
00:26:34.350 --> 00:26:35.400
Elly Gotz: And how do we know.
00:26:36.450 --> 00:26:49.590
Elly Gotz: How do we know that 10,000 people were killed on the 29th of October, my friends, we have a document and I have this secret document, the German documents multi page multi page.
00:26:50.760 --> 00:26:59.370
Elly Gotz: listing every line is one town a date and how many Jewish men, women and children were murdered on that day.
00:27:00.720 --> 00:27:08.610
Elly Gotz: Altogether between July and December 1941 long before Auschwitz, and the gas chambers started.
00:27:10.380 --> 00:27:20.760
Elly Gotz: Our people we already did 92 executions across miscellaneous total number killed hundred and 77,346.
00:27:22.110 --> 00:27:48.060
Elly Gotz: And here's an excerpt 29th of October encounters my city on the ninth fourth 2007 Jewish men 2900 women and 4200 children total 9200 they made an arithmetical error should be 9300 removal from the ghetto of surplus Jews, they had too many of us thought they had to kill us.
00:27:49.290 --> 00:28:09.420
Elly Gotz: My friend, you must not believe Holocaust deniers they say, even now, while we are still alive our witnesses, they say it didn't happen, they didn't kill 6 million the Holocaust is a lie, please believe the witnesses, when you hear a witness you become a witness.
00:28:12.840 --> 00:28:22.410
Elly Gotz: There was resistance in the ghetto people started to resist the Germans, but not in the ghetto ghetto we didn't do anything because that was very dangerous.
00:28:24.150 --> 00:28:33.030
Elly Gotz: they're not just announced if you kill one German soldier, we will kill 200 Jews don't nobody did anything well, but our young people.
00:28:33.600 --> 00:28:47.640
Elly Gotz: collected themselves and they went out into the forest and they started to fight this partisans here's my friend, Sarah united, she was four years old of night, she was 17 when the war started just finished high school.
00:28:48.690 --> 00:28:53.490
Elly Gotz: And she went off to the forest and She fought for two or three years.
00:28:54.660 --> 00:29:04.740
Elly Gotz: From 1941 42 she went into 1940 for two years as a partisan they blew up train stay for the Germans tooth and nail.
00:29:05.910 --> 00:29:17.970
Elly Gotz: We are very proud of them after the war, she came back to Canada here the Professor of Economics and she taught at university here she is my good friend, she died recently.
00:29:19.350 --> 00:29:27.690
Elly Gotz: I will also tell you a short story about my little cousin she was born before the war, she lived in the ghetto.
00:29:28.980 --> 00:29:37.440
Elly Gotz: and two and a half year old and I was looking after her and I used to feed on put her to bed she became my baby I loved her.
00:29:38.310 --> 00:29:47.820
Elly Gotz: And one day our Father said they are going to kill us they killed them thousand they'll kill us, I must get my child out of the ghetto, I wanted to live.
00:29:48.630 --> 00:29:57.630
Elly Gotz: So you wrote to his friend, a Catholic in the city, would you take my child, if I can get her out and announcer comes from this lady his wife.
00:29:58.230 --> 00:30:15.030
Elly Gotz: She says, I don't know why my husband is the Russians arrested in before the gentleman's game, but I have no children i'll take your girl where can I meet you uncle told away he works every day downtown in the factory come in the backyard 12 o'clock i'll talk to you.
00:30:16.260 --> 00:30:29.100
Elly Gotz: He offered our money, my uncle had gold he didn't give up his gold he offered our gold coins she wouldn't take a cent no, I will not take anything from you only the child.
00:30:30.150 --> 00:30:31.290
Elly Gotz: arrangements are made.
00:30:32.550 --> 00:30:48.090
Elly Gotz: One morning my model gives a child to be injection knocked her out they put her in a knapsack uncle put it on his shoulders and he went out to work with 25 men and two soldiers, they used to stop under a bunch of trees to have a rest.
00:30:49.470 --> 00:30:57.360
Elly Gotz: he left his knapsack with his daughter under a tree and he walked off to work he look back and he saw a man came and grabbed the bag.
00:30:58.470 --> 00:31:09.990
Elly Gotz: And we got a message the goods have arrived my little cousin was safe this brave young woman and her mother those two women live downtown in an apartment.
00:31:10.530 --> 00:31:22.800
Elly Gotz: They took her into kept or four months indoors she forgot how to speak English she spoke with alien this became our mother, and this was our grandmother, and that was how she was your wife, the war.
00:31:27.330 --> 00:31:41.850
Elly Gotz: One other thing in the ghetto they established a school a trade school for kids from 12 to 15 like me and I joined the school they got permission from the Germans, a trade school, they could have a regular school, no.
00:31:43.950 --> 00:32:09.180
Elly Gotz: I learned metal work to making locks missing, I became a locksmith I learned how to fix locks fixed doors fix putting locks indoors building blocks, how to open safes I learned all the locksmith trade I learned metal work, how to work on metal polishing drilling lays I worked on metal.
00:32:10.500 --> 00:32:14.580
Elly Gotz: And after two years, when I was 15 I graduated.
00:32:15.870 --> 00:32:21.990
Elly Gotz: I was a good student they offered me to be a teacher and I started to teach kids like me.
00:32:23.340 --> 00:32:26.730
Elly Gotz: And I had a good time teaching I loved it I love being a teacher.
00:32:28.890 --> 00:32:39.510
Elly Gotz: Now here in Canada, many years later we traveled my wife and I to Washington DC to visit the Holocaust Museum of the United States.
00:32:40.620 --> 00:32:52.860
Elly Gotz: a wonderful institution and on the second floor there were different screens showing pictures from Europe and I picked the one from Lithuania cownose ghetto.
00:32:54.030 --> 00:33:01.380
Elly Gotz: And I told my wife, I see that was a building well the eldest and wrapped was the people who run the ghetto the Jewish.
00:33:02.700 --> 00:33:20.310
Elly Gotz: And this is the I said oh that's a building where my school was and the next picture I said, let the student of mine, I remember him such a nice boy he's wearing a yellow Star of David front and back and he's working on the lace, which I taught him how to use.
00:33:21.390 --> 00:33:31.680
Elly Gotz: And the next picture I was amazed as me I said this is me my picture I found myself i'm the teacher and i'm teaching the younger kids here.
00:33:32.520 --> 00:33:46.650
Elly Gotz: I was amazed, I went to them, I asked for the photographs they gave it to me that's why I can show it to you now, I was so happy, I came back to Toronto I show all my friends look the only picture I have of that war.
00:33:50.490 --> 00:33:59.010
Elly Gotz: I showed, my friends, somebody told the star newspaper they came to interview means that got me here you have a picture here, yes, from the war.
00:34:00.120 --> 00:34:02.430
Elly Gotz: They published the whole page was my story.
00:34:03.960 --> 00:34:08.010
Elly Gotz: Three weeks later, I got a letter from Israel, through the newspaper.
00:34:09.060 --> 00:34:21.570
Elly Gotz: And this guy writes to me le God I didn't know you were alive i'm so happy to see you, I saw the photograph in your paper when are you coming to Israel to visit.
00:34:22.860 --> 00:34:39.930
Elly Gotz: I was so excited I didn't know they survive I went to Israel and he is sitting next to me thanking me le you did such a good job on me I learned the trade now, I have a factory I build machines I export all over the world.
00:34:41.400 --> 00:34:50.040
Elly Gotz: I said that's wonderful Who are these two guys you brought he says they also use students fantastic, so please this guy is now a professor.
00:34:50.730 --> 00:35:07.080
Elly Gotz: Professor of history and not history i'm sorry professor of agriculture, he teaches Israelis, how to plant trees in different parts of the country, Israel is now a green country from edge to edge more than 100 years ago it used to be a desert.
00:35:08.190 --> 00:35:15.900
Elly Gotz: We sat for four hours talking, we were amazing to tell each other how we survive what happened to us.
00:35:17.850 --> 00:35:30.600
Elly Gotz: We went to the train after sitting in the basement was for a whole week almost we got out to train and the train practicing 200 people in a vacuum and we took off.
00:35:31.470 --> 00:35:52.590
Elly Gotz: head, we come out from the train a little later two hours late though we wouldn't have made it because the Germans blew up every house and put the fire every house in the ghetto and 3000 people are hiding like we were they all died, they were all shot to death or died in the flames.
00:35:53.730 --> 00:36:06.660
Elly Gotz: But we went on the train and the train went over night in the morning, no facilities, no water no food no air, it was a terrible trip the train stopped.
00:36:07.530 --> 00:36:20.370
Elly Gotz: Everybody out of the train women to the right mental left I didn't take the time to say goodbye to my mother immediate later all the men back on the train my mother and mom to remain standing there.
00:36:21.480 --> 00:36:24.120
Elly Gotz: And that was concentration can shoot off.
00:36:26.010 --> 00:36:28.050
Elly Gotz: We traveled another day in the night.
00:36:29.760 --> 00:36:36.390
Elly Gotz: Without water we was also thirsty and we can arrived here we arrived in the south of Germany.
00:36:37.710 --> 00:36:53.220
Elly Gotz: and assign concentration camp that how camp number one, we will now in the whole the whole was the first camp created concentration camp, which is a jail for people who have done nothing wrong, the government doesn't like them.
00:36:54.690 --> 00:37:11.280
Elly Gotz: hit log created the Dow in 1973 he locked up communists and socialists and label leaders he locked up a lot of juice, he locked up professors from university people publish newspapers anybody who didn't like it love.
00:37:12.300 --> 00:37:21.090
Elly Gotz: And now we went down, but this is not the main camp of the home, we discovered this subcamp the main campus 50 kilometres away.
00:37:24.060 --> 00:37:32.520
Elly Gotz: They took away when we arrived all our clothes and all our luggage, they gave us strike uniforms and they drove us in here.
00:37:34.080 --> 00:37:45.690
Elly Gotz: And I spent 10 months of my life from the age of 16 do the age of 17 I have my 17th birthday in Idaho in this kind of a hot.
00:37:46.830 --> 00:37:50.130
Elly Gotz: 25 months slept on each side on the hub boards.
00:37:51.360 --> 00:37:54.660
Elly Gotz: We had striped uniforms and we got one blanket.
00:37:57.690 --> 00:37:58.860
Elly Gotz: Total hunger.
00:37:59.970 --> 00:38:06.210
Elly Gotz: nothing to eat 12 hour shift label building construction.
00:38:08.580 --> 00:38:17.010
Elly Gotz: When we came home from work after 12 hours we've got a one liter soup a bowl of soup vegetable soup.
00:38:18.300 --> 00:38:25.530
Elly Gotz: Nothing, then, if a potato floated in your been when you got the soup, it was a good day half a potato.
00:38:26.700 --> 00:38:29.460
Elly Gotz: And one slice of bread for the whole day.
00:38:30.480 --> 00:38:33.930
Elly Gotz: In the morning we've got black water cold coffee without sugar.
00:38:35.490 --> 00:38:55.320
Elly Gotz: Total hunger and men can work for three months without eating, because we have felt on our body, but after three months, all the fabric gone when I was liberated I wait 70 pounds my father way to 65 pounds we helped each other, we survive somehow.
00:38:57.180 --> 00:38:59.190
Elly Gotz: Instead of our camp died of hunger.
00:39:00.540 --> 00:39:10.410
Elly Gotz: The older people, people who, who had diabetes, or some illness or because they died in the first few weeks, they couldn't take the work.
00:39:12.690 --> 00:39:25.830
Elly Gotz: And no washing facilities for 10 months I did not have a shower I was full of lies, all of us, full of lies lies we're drinking our blood and giving up disease.
00:39:28.560 --> 00:39:29.820
Elly Gotz: Why did they bring us here.
00:39:31.230 --> 00:39:33.990
Elly Gotz: The Germans invented the first jet fighter plane.
00:39:35.580 --> 00:39:45.930
Elly Gotz: He could fly 700 kilometres an hour the Allies were flying at 300 kilometres, now that plane was very dangerous, it could fly up to Obama and shooting down.
00:39:48.060 --> 00:39:52.620
Elly Gotz: We saw the bombers coming, day and night bombing germany's smashing up everything.
00:39:53.760 --> 00:40:02.760
Elly Gotz: Hitler said build me do on 20,000 of these planes and I will wipe the skies of the British and American air force.
00:40:03.840 --> 00:40:08.010
Elly Gotz: But they couldn't build them because they were destroying the factories, one by one.
00:40:09.210 --> 00:40:18.450
Elly Gotz: Though the Germans decided they will build a factory so strong that no one could go through here's what they did designed in Berlin.
00:40:19.530 --> 00:40:27.570
Elly Gotz: They took a pile of sand pile the top three 400 meters long that's two sides of a kilometer and a half a kilometer.
00:40:29.340 --> 00:40:30.780
Elly Gotz: about the size of a mile.
00:40:31.860 --> 00:40:38.400
Elly Gotz: And then they covered it with concrete five meters sick five yards sick.
00:40:39.810 --> 00:40:49.770
Elly Gotz: And then they dug out the sand and putting four floors of machine tools, the idea was to produce an aeroplane and mass production come out there for complete plane.
00:40:53.160 --> 00:40:54.480
Elly Gotz: Sorry, one moment.
00:40:59.760 --> 00:41:10.440
Elly Gotz: here's a picture a soldier here's a prisoner, you see, this is what they dug out the sound you have never seen a building that size, a huge building a huge building.
00:41:11.730 --> 00:41:21.390
Elly Gotz: And here's another picture five meters of metal was put up and all the metal here was filled with concrete from top to bottom.
00:41:22.590 --> 00:41:24.900
Elly Gotz: And the concrete was pumped by machines.
00:41:26.370 --> 00:41:27.660
Elly Gotz: The first day we arrived.
00:41:28.980 --> 00:41:46.770
Elly Gotz: They shouted mechanics to make us I picked up my hand I got a job and then pump station a pump station was for pumps and there were three such stations 12 bumps but pumping cement, day and night Saturday and Sunday non stop.
00:41:47.820 --> 00:41:58.710
Elly Gotz: I became a mechanic in indoors that saved my life I got my father to work inside, so you shouldn't have to work outside people standing here on the boards.
00:41:59.250 --> 00:42:16.590
Elly Gotz: A pipe was hanging down and pumping cement and they had to move it around the wind us to blow the pipe and the prisoner off the board the prisoner felling the boards and drowned in the cement 12 people drawn in the cement I lost a friend.
00:42:18.090 --> 00:42:31.860
Elly Gotz: We worked and we died for 10 months we died out of 3000 men over 880 or something died in those three months I carried more dead bodies than I could count.
00:42:35.550 --> 00:42:41.070
Elly Gotz: The end of the walking I wasn't hospital my father was in the hospital the hospital barrack.
00:42:42.090 --> 00:42:47.700
Elly Gotz: Very primitive they said everybody has to get out and walk to central Canada how.
00:42:48.390 --> 00:43:02.760
Elly Gotz: We couldn't walk but they put us on the train I was ready i'm ready to die, that they were going to kill us here, because we are in the hospital, but they took the whole hospital on the train some people died on the train and we arrived in central Canada how.
00:43:03.810 --> 00:43:07.560
Elly Gotz: This was April 1945 end of April.
00:43:09.360 --> 00:43:19.380
Elly Gotz: Two rows of barbed wire, this is a granddaddy of all concentration camps charged with electricity 2000 volts you touch it you die.
00:43:20.400 --> 00:43:40.950
Elly Gotz: certitude barracks packed with people they put in for chefs in the barracks not beto anything shelves and people are lying on the shelves, my father is dying he gave up I could see in his eyes, he wants to die he's finished is very painting legs it can't walk it can talk.
00:43:41.970 --> 00:43:51.090
Elly Gotz: he's out and I begging father, please don't die don't die on me my mother I don't know where my mother is a now you are going to that.
00:43:52.500 --> 00:43:55.920
Elly Gotz: He says, I don't know how long, I can still be with you my son.
00:43:57.390 --> 00:44:05.790
Elly Gotz: We went into barrack number two he wants to lie down crowded conditions, no place to lie down they pulled out the dead body.
00:44:06.870 --> 00:44:15.240
Elly Gotz: He jumped in, and I was thinking, I may find him dead tomorrow morning I fell on the floor I slept I was dead.
00:44:16.380 --> 00:44:19.410
Elly Gotz: In the morning, my father is still alive talking to me.
00:44:20.490 --> 00:44:25.410
Elly Gotz: noon time they brings the soup he can't get up, you have to stand in line.
00:44:26.430 --> 00:44:32.820
Elly Gotz: I go in line with his vision mind I came back with two dishes of soup and two slices of bread.
00:44:34.860 --> 00:44:36.450
Elly Gotz: My father grabs the soup.
00:44:38.010 --> 00:44:41.220
Elly Gotz: And people are shouting the Americans are here, we are free.
00:44:42.510 --> 00:44:55.110
Elly Gotz: I said father, we made it they promised to kill us before the war was over, but we survived Oh, he said that's good have you got any bread, I was still holding this piece of bread.
00:44:56.370 --> 00:44:59.670
Elly Gotz: That was my moment of liberation, have you got the bread.
00:45:00.840 --> 00:45:16.590
Elly Gotz: They put out at people came out to greet the Americans, those who could stand, many people are lying in the barrack give them up, they didn't in Moscow food they were dying thousands of people died there were 64,000 people they say in the in the camp.
00:45:17.940 --> 00:45:29.910
Elly Gotz: Thousands about dying every day school after a couple of days they took us out they took us to the hospital Santa tillion it was in a in a monastery.
00:45:31.170 --> 00:45:34.680
Elly Gotz: Six months I stayed in hospital six months.
00:45:35.940 --> 00:45:38.220
Elly Gotz: From 70 pounds, I went to 110.
00:45:41.610 --> 00:45:49.950
Elly Gotz: Three months after liberation, we discovered that my mother and my aunt was alive in another camp in another hospital.
00:45:51.360 --> 00:46:04.530
Elly Gotz: We went to me got them my three uncles survived with us, we all help each other, I haven't had time to tell you all the stories of how I made some would have risked my life to get potatoes haven't left on.
00:46:06.930 --> 00:46:20.700
Elly Gotz: Three months after we found my mother and my aunt went back to Lithuania secretly over three borders, she went illegally and she came back with her car with my cousin a little girl.
00:46:21.840 --> 00:46:31.440
Elly Gotz: Here is my little girl, I was so happy to see her, she had no idea who I was and why was kissing her and she spoke only Lithuanian.
00:46:33.300 --> 00:46:42.750
Elly Gotz: We recovered our little child and miracle our whole family's your wife my three uncles my aunt my grant my cousin and my parents and I.
00:46:44.070 --> 00:46:45.300
Elly Gotz: And amazing story.
00:46:46.530 --> 00:46:53.250
Elly Gotz: here's my cousin than me she's 75 588 she came to visit me in Canada, she lives in Norway.
00:46:55.050 --> 00:46:55.860
Elly Gotz: fantastic.
00:46:56.880 --> 00:47:04.110
Elly Gotz: I have three children, I have six grandchildren, she has a special place in my heart, my dear cousin.
00:47:06.780 --> 00:47:15.660
Elly Gotz: We stayed in Germany, no country wanted us we couldn't go to Canada, we couldn't go to the United States, we couldn't go to South Africa, we have relatives.
00:47:16.260 --> 00:47:30.930
Elly Gotz: No country wanted to take us hundred and 50,000 Jews sat in Germany for three years sample Israel was established 1948 from 1945 1948 then they went to Israel.
00:47:32.400 --> 00:47:40.860
Elly Gotz: I wasn't thinking about that, when I came out from hospital, I had a problem I hated Germans, I was ready to kill.
00:47:41.820 --> 00:48:00.060
Elly Gotz: I wanted to come out of hospital and my plan was to find that Graham and to kill some Germans in revenge and That was all I was thinking about I came out I started to look for Dan I couldn't get that done I couldn't find I look for poison, I wanted to do something to them.
00:48:01.830 --> 00:48:10.230
Elly Gotz: One day, I said to myself give it up, you can take the whole nation down, not all guilty they haven't told on something.
00:48:11.250 --> 00:48:20.130
Elly Gotz: Only some of them you don't have to forgive them but don't take don't take the whole nation give it up, I started to push my head sideways.
00:48:21.300 --> 00:48:22.080
Elly Gotz: Every time.
00:48:23.160 --> 00:48:29.370
Elly Gotz: I gave up hate and when I gave up paid I started living for the first time.
00:48:30.600 --> 00:48:44.550
Elly Gotz: My friends you've got to understand do hate is like taking poison and hoping that the other would die, you know who said it Buddha the founder of Buddhism 2700 years ago.
00:48:45.510 --> 00:48:57.210
Elly Gotz: it's right, I was poisoned and when I gave up eight I remember, I want to be an engineer, and I haven't got high school, so I hit the books I started to study.
00:48:57.930 --> 00:49:16.050
Elly Gotz: mathematics, physics science chemistry, I worked very hard, I took a course in electronic repairs or or or RT organization for ability patients through training is a Jewish worldwide organization they established schools for us again.
00:49:17.190 --> 00:49:20.700
Elly Gotz: I went to school, I learned how to fix radios.
00:49:22.200 --> 00:49:29.730
Elly Gotz: And after three two years of study, I was ready to go to university, I thought I know enough, so I went.
00:49:30.870 --> 00:49:40.080
Elly Gotz: To the university in mentioned in Munich and I presented myself a special example people I thought, who didn't have papers.
00:49:40.890 --> 00:49:57.270
Elly Gotz: Five professors sub asked me questions within an hour they knew what I know and what I don't know accepted me at university, I was so happy, I went to my mother, I said mother i'm going to university now they've accepted.
00:49:58.290 --> 00:50:10.950
Elly Gotz: you're not going, why not because we want to get out of Germany, she said we hate to be here the bloody earth I said I know we want to get out but we can't there no country want us.
00:50:11.760 --> 00:50:22.590
Elly Gotz: What can we do, she said, we are going to Norway, the only countries that said they'll take 900 juice, because they lost 900 juice to Auschwitz.
00:50:24.240 --> 00:50:39.660
Elly Gotz: We went to Norway, they were wonderful to us, they gave us everything they gave us housing they gave us bedsheets they gave us toothbrushes everything and taught us no vision in a class I didn't like the classroom.
00:50:40.950 --> 00:50:53.310
Elly Gotz: Adult real slow learners I found takes ages to run a couple of words, I went to my own, I know, four languages, I knew Yiddish Lithuanian Russian and German.
00:50:57.030 --> 00:51:13.740
Elly Gotz: I can learn another language in three months I did I worked with a dictionary and the newspaper and I used to ask every national every Norwegian to walk by please talk to me for five minutes I need to learn your language, because I want to get a job.
00:51:14.790 --> 00:51:27.120
Elly Gotz: After three months, I spoke no vision, I got a job as a radio mechanic night school, I want to get matric in Norway, they wouldn't recognize my German exam.
00:51:28.650 --> 00:51:42.120
Elly Gotz: i'm working hard, my father rights to his uncle in South Africa in Johannesburg uncle Center money my son wants to be an engineer, and he has to work he should study full time.
00:51:43.350 --> 00:51:52.860
Elly Gotz: The uncle writes back I can't send money not allowed, but now, if you come to Africa i'll make sure your son can go to university.
00:51:53.700 --> 00:52:12.750
Elly Gotz: So after one year in Norway, we got up and we flew to Africa, not South Africa, South Africa wouldn't take us know use know Catholics, we went to Zimbabwe at the time it was still called Rhodesia it was a British colony.
00:52:14.400 --> 00:52:15.990
Elly Gotz: Now I have to learn English.
00:52:17.010 --> 00:52:18.540
Elly Gotz: I just finished my vision.
00:52:19.710 --> 00:52:25.140
Elly Gotz: I need English I didn't know a word of English so i've got myself into grade 12.
00:52:26.490 --> 00:52:32.310
Elly Gotz: They didn't want to take me he doesn't speak a word, how can it be in class don't worry about me just put me.
00:52:33.180 --> 00:52:44.130
Elly Gotz: Nine months later, I passed all the exams I got a distinction in German, I went to university in Johannesburg and I became an engineer.
00:52:45.030 --> 00:53:03.720
Elly Gotz: here's my mother was me in Norway and years, my father was me in Africa, he learned English he started to buy books, he wanted to know what happened, he bought books in all languages, he wanted to know what happened in the war, how could such a miserable thing happen in the middle of Europe.
00:53:05.100 --> 00:53:18.690
Elly Gotz: My father was a wonderful man when you die that at four in Toronto here in Canada, he left me to roomfuls of books and i'm also a book collector maybe Unfortunately I love it.
00:53:21.390 --> 00:53:26.220
Elly Gotz: I went to university in Johannesburg and four years later I.
00:53:27.240 --> 00:53:31.680
Elly Gotz: graduated as an engineer, I had made some very good friends.
00:53:33.990 --> 00:53:37.590
Elly Gotz: I have friends in Johannesburg and in Cape Town school now.
00:53:40.440 --> 00:53:45.960
Elly Gotz: Perhaps one of them is listening now I don't know Norman morrison Where are you.
00:53:48.360 --> 00:53:49.950
Elly Gotz: I went back to Rhodesia.
00:53:51.780 --> 00:54:02.970
Elly Gotz: I have to get a good job, because my parents weren't making a living, I can't get a job as an engineer there's no job so engineers primitive country you can be a farmer, I don't want to be a farm.
00:54:04.590 --> 00:54:05.370
Elly Gotz: What should I do.
00:54:06.450 --> 00:54:18.690
Elly Gotz: I decided, I have to start a business myself, I had no money, I took a little store and I put up radio repairs and I went there and I got people to bring me a radius to fix them.
00:54:19.380 --> 00:54:33.000
Elly Gotz: And after a while I had more money, I made it big store bicycle shop and radio and I put my parents to sell I didn't like it, I didn't enjoy retail, so I.
00:54:34.710 --> 00:54:48.330
Elly Gotz: started another business sound recording studio I started to record people music singing and speeches and then I started to make vinyl records vinyl records.
00:54:49.620 --> 00:54:53.160
Elly Gotz: Then I had an idea and I stopped in advertising agency.
00:54:54.240 --> 00:55:03.450
Elly Gotz: And then I started a film company, because I needed films to show, I was very busy, and I had a wonderful time I was fishing on the Zambezi river.
00:55:04.860 --> 00:55:14.220
Elly Gotz: And I will call this big tiger fish with a chunk of crocodile meat, when you get crocodile meet you shoot the crocodile that's where.
00:55:15.390 --> 00:55:25.050
Elly Gotz: I became a crocodile hunter we sold the skin of the crocodile the belly of the crocodile is very valuable we shot, a lot of crocodiles and we sold the skin.
00:55:25.950 --> 00:55:40.020
Elly Gotz: And I started to climb mountains and I riding horses, I became a good rider I learned to jump horses, I was having a ball and, one day, I thought to myself, I have to find a woman, I could love all my life.
00:55:41.160 --> 00:55:44.820
Elly Gotz: I have, I was looking I had a lot of friends, but I needed somebody special.
00:55:45.960 --> 00:55:46.830
Elly Gotz: I went to looking.
00:55:48.270 --> 00:56:02.850
Elly Gotz: I have a good time looking but I found this is this me my wife, we have now been married for 64 years and we are still in love, we have a wonderful time together, I don't mind being locked up with apartment.
00:56:04.350 --> 00:56:18.540
Elly Gotz: We had three children, South Africa, I persuaded the whole family her family in mind to get out of Africa it's not going to end well I said you can't keep people the context such race hatreds apart paid.
00:56:19.860 --> 00:56:31.080
Elly Gotz: You can't treat people like that I didn't like it, I never expected to live down, we came to Canada in 1964 we establish the company.
00:56:32.760 --> 00:56:34.080
Elly Gotz: was my brother in law.
00:56:35.820 --> 00:56:49.560
Elly Gotz: My vinyl electronic welding of plastics, seven years we worked hard, then I had money, so I bought an airplane and I talked to fly a plane I fulfilled my dream.
00:56:50.100 --> 00:57:04.860
Elly Gotz: I loved it, I became a good pilot I became an instrument pilot I could fly at night and in darkening clouds I flew the family to Florida to Nova Scotia and I flew to New York and Chicago on business, all the time.
00:57:06.240 --> 00:57:17.490
Elly Gotz: Yes, flying is my pleasure and later I also became a glider pilot flying without a motor, this is the poetry of life, the most beautiful thing.
00:57:18.570 --> 00:57:19.950
Elly Gotz: And now we are all people.
00:57:21.240 --> 00:57:34.200
Elly Gotz: We have now 90 is best than this now 60 s wedding anniversary in 2018 a happy life retired I retired many times I started another business I had many businesses.
00:57:35.310 --> 00:57:46.410
Elly Gotz: And in the year 2017 was cannabis hundred and 50th birthday so everybody said, what are we doing to remember this big day.
00:57:47.040 --> 00:58:06.000
Elly Gotz: And the local television company said guys, what are you doing to remember, so I wrote them a letter I said I will jump from an aeroplane I made hundred and 50 years I made myself a shirt i'm going to jump from an aeroplane, for the first time and i'm 89 oh really they came to fill me.
00:58:13.440 --> 00:58:15.570
Elly Gotz: This is a scary thing I want to tell you.
00:58:17.400 --> 00:58:20.190
Elly Gotz: And then the it opens and it's fantastic.
00:58:30.390 --> 00:58:31.470
Elly Gotz: This was a picture.
00:58:32.610 --> 00:58:36.330
Elly Gotz: It was a big scandal it wasn't TV everybody came and called me.
00:58:37.350 --> 00:58:42.390
Elly Gotz: Anyway, it was a big fun great fun to jump on an airplane and now.
00:58:45.570 --> 00:58:53.490
Elly Gotz: Just before we get started, we were in a restaurant, we had a good time, we are still having a good time with my dear wife.
00:58:55.080 --> 00:59:14.940
Elly Gotz: that's the life, so what am I learned, why do I talk now about the whole course we've got to understand that we must learn something that we must learn something from the horrible thing of hatred that makes people kill each other.
00:59:16.500 --> 00:59:23.550
Elly Gotz: Human beings are very smart we make the most smart things we make telephones, which also clever.
00:59:24.600 --> 00:59:42.750
Elly Gotz: electronics we invent things we fly airplanes we do everything, but we can't overcome hate to each other, we can't overcome hey, we must stop hate, we must stop this hatred of people must stop anti semitism and hater others.
00:59:43.980 --> 00:59:49.860
Elly Gotz: It seems you human beings have a problem when they see someone who is different to themselves.
00:59:51.330 --> 00:59:59.790
Elly Gotz: I say don't do that forget it don't, what do you know about us is I tell people I speak to a lot of schools.
01:00:00.540 --> 01:00:09.810
Elly Gotz: What didn't know about us, we are an ancient people, we have given the world law all the values which the West holds most.
01:00:10.500 --> 01:00:22.110
Elly Gotz: True, dear like tolerance and compassion and liberty and the rule of law and reason and science it's all due to the Bible to the teachings of the Jews.
01:00:22.920 --> 01:00:34.770
Elly Gotz: 2500 years ago that you said you're not allowed to have slaves, the whole world was filled with slaves every nation, who conquered another had slaves.
01:00:36.120 --> 01:00:48.750
Elly Gotz: That you said no slaves allowed if you have a slave you must let him go after seven years without charge, and his family, because you and he are created in the face of God.
01:00:50.370 --> 01:00:58.230
Elly Gotz: It took the world a long time England stopped slavery in 1863 2000 years later.
01:00:59.490 --> 01:01:01.620
Elly Gotz: In America 1866.
01:01:02.820 --> 01:01:04.440
Elly Gotz: And they had a war about it right.
01:01:07.920 --> 01:01:15.390
Elly Gotz: We have to overcome that hatred, we must never forget how the world looks to those who are vulnerable.
01:01:16.470 --> 01:01:21.840
Elly Gotz: We must change our view it's not what you stand for it's what you stand up for.
01:01:23.700 --> 01:01:30.600
Elly Gotz: don't be a bystander learn how to fight, even if it's at risk of your own well being.
01:01:31.920 --> 01:01:33.450
Elly Gotz: We must resist.
01:01:34.470 --> 01:01:42.570
Elly Gotz: resist fascism resist hatred of other people are countries are taking in refugees now I tell the kids.
01:01:44.580 --> 01:01:57.450
Elly Gotz: i'm not asking you to love them i'm asking you to be curious about them and find out your common humanity you'll discover, there is a common humanity, when you do, that I helped a lot of people come to Canada.
01:01:59.100 --> 01:02:07.890
Elly Gotz: they're both people from up from Asia, and now we've got people coming from Syria and from Iraq and from all over.
01:02:09.120 --> 01:02:16.560
Elly Gotz: And some of them hate us, by the way, I still try to help them I want them to become Canadian.
01:02:18.540 --> 01:02:20.010
Elly Gotz: That is why talk.
01:02:21.270 --> 01:02:25.800
Elly Gotz: it's my talk is over, now, and I invite you any questions.
01:02:26.880 --> 01:02:29.400
Elly Gotz: Thank you very much, thank you for listening.
01:02:32.370 --> 01:02:48.480
Ari Goldstein: ellie, thank you for that extraordinarily inspiring and powerful presentation beautifully told and very affecting we're glad to take questions from anyone in the audience, so please share them in zoom Q amp a box.
01:02:49.860 --> 01:02:57.480
Ari Goldstein: Le there's a very specific question here from Arlene asks which subcamp Adolfo you are father is in the California subcamp.
01:02:58.200 --> 01:03:04.230
Elly Gotz: yeah we will income number one conferring conferring was that nearest town.
01:03:05.130 --> 01:03:12.030
Elly Gotz: and have all kinds of things going on, by the way, I wish I had more time to tell you about, for example, a musical concert that we had.
01:03:12.540 --> 01:03:26.010
Elly Gotz: or one guy who wanted to see operations and I worked in the hospital and I assistant of I mean that happened, the whole thing in that small camp of 3000 men who were constantly being replaced as we died.
01:03:28.830 --> 01:03:35.970
Ari Goldstein: Thank you for answering that ellie and someone else is asking if you can tell us a little bit about your kids and grandkids so they in Canada.
01:03:36.630 --> 01:03:45.900
Elly Gotz: yeah they're in Canada and one of them is now in New York studying for dental for dentistry and zone for.
01:03:47.370 --> 01:03:57.120
Elly Gotz: what's it called dental specialty specialty or appear, but the other side in Canada, we have a good time grandchildren it's wonderful.
01:03:57.900 --> 01:04:05.010
Ari Goldstein: Thank you ellie and another member of the audience is asking if you ever returned to Lithuania, and what that was like.
01:04:05.520 --> 01:04:09.990
Elly Gotz: Yes, I went back to Lithuania, I took my whole family I wanted them to see my country.
01:04:10.530 --> 01:04:25.500
Elly Gotz: I took them there I took them to a nice fourth where all the people were killed by I showed my little cousin I invited are from Norway to come with us also and I showed that the That is where your grandparents died because have red pants or shorts.
01:04:26.610 --> 01:04:29.610
Elly Gotz: In there together with her aunt and uncle.
01:04:31.080 --> 01:04:39.810
Elly Gotz: And we saw the ghetto I walked through the ghetto it's been rebuilt completely but it's very similar to what it was before simple houses.
01:04:41.430 --> 01:04:51.660
Elly Gotz: I had, I had a journalist who came up to me Alice or any journalist and he said so, Mr I hear that you are from Canada, what do you think I told him I, and I get a survival here.
01:04:52.650 --> 01:05:02.190
Elly Gotz: I saw it, I says Oh, what do you think of Lithuania, I said i'm very happy to see that you're free from the Russians and that you making good economic progress.
01:05:02.850 --> 01:05:10.530
Elly Gotz: On the other hand, I also think of the time when some of your White on banda's killed us, he said, thank you very much, and he walked away.
01:05:13.440 --> 01:05:14.010
Elly Gotz: anymore.
01:05:15.270 --> 01:05:23.430
Ari Goldstein: You said it when you just begin to tell that story that you wanted to show your family your country did still feel like your country, even after all, you had gone through there.
01:05:23.670 --> 01:05:27.030
Elly Gotz: No, I don't feel like my country at all i'm a Canadian.
01:05:28.080 --> 01:05:42.030
Elly Gotz: I don't feel at all my country, I had no no feeling for it i'm just well, I have a kind of remembrance of it, I am I forgotten this manian I still remember Lithuanian poetry.
01:05:43.140 --> 01:05:49.080
Elly Gotz: And I speak, the Lithuanian group in America soon they've asked me to talk, but.
01:05:50.880 --> 01:05:52.500
Elly Gotz: it's not my country.
01:05:53.910 --> 01:05:59.520
Ari Goldstein: And when on your trip returning to Lithuania to do also go back to our respect to painful to visit.
01:05:59.640 --> 01:06:12.000
Elly Gotz: Do that how I go back every year every five years i'm sorry every five years, they invite me me and my wife, we travel to send us tickets and they put us up in hotel and we have meeting cell.
01:06:12.510 --> 01:06:23.580
Elly Gotz: And I go to that building that i've built I insisted take me down they didn't want to let me go and then they said, this is now an air force base.
01:06:24.240 --> 01:06:33.780
Elly Gotz: You can't go, though I said I built it you take me they sent them an officer a high officer and he came and picked me up and he took me, though.
01:06:34.500 --> 01:06:46.410
Elly Gotz: He said i'm an engineer, I said i'm also an engineer oh wonderful, so we are pals and he takes me down, and I said to him do me a favor can I touch the wall from inside.
01:06:47.070 --> 01:06:56.220
Elly Gotz: He said, why do you want to touch the wall, I said, because my friend is buried in the concrete and he told me says close people are buried in the concrete.
01:06:56.820 --> 01:07:06.930
Elly Gotz: I said, how do you know that I was surprised, he said i've studied the history of this building, I have read the diary of the chief engineer, and he told me 12 people and then.
01:07:08.040 --> 01:07:17.880
Elly Gotz: Five years later I come back he takes the whole group of people takes them in the building shows them this in May men's building yeah Americans used to keep.
01:07:18.900 --> 01:07:32.370
Elly Gotz: rockets atomic rockets at one time and then he says, who wants to go and sees the wall and people said, what do you mean what what I said yes, yes, I want to go through the wall, we came down.
01:07:33.600 --> 01:07:46.830
Elly Gotz: lights lighting up the wall before it was a dark spot light and a sculptor made hands sticking out from the concrete and they are holding white flowers.
01:07:48.150 --> 01:08:00.660
Elly Gotz: And the fingers are painted gold and amazing thing my wife was upset so what a terrible I loved it I said, thank you, the only place where 12 men, whose names we don't know.
01:08:01.710 --> 01:08:06.780
Elly Gotz: I remember, remember, because they died in the concrete are buried in this building.
01:08:07.800 --> 01:08:22.740
Elly Gotz: very touching and when I turned 89 I got the telegram from the hall and huge flop bunch Congratulations, Mr got to 90th birthday.
01:08:23.670 --> 01:08:36.780
Elly Gotz: So I wrote back I said, thank you very much, but i'm not yet 90 i'm 89 I made myself a year older when I came to TAO because my father told me told him you're 17 they shouldn't kill you.
01:08:37.800 --> 01:08:40.800
Elly Gotz: So you'll have to send flowers again but they didn't.
01:08:42.990 --> 01:08:47.940
Ari Goldstein: I mean that's beautiful but what a what a strange experience to get flowers from place so dark.
01:08:49.260 --> 01:09:00.180
Ari Goldstein: there's a lot of audience questions asking about specific people that you might have known in Lithuania or how they want to encourage audience members to email ellie at the address in the zoom.
01:09:00.210 --> 01:09:08.880
Elly Gotz: chat send them all to me, then, or maybe you can put them all in all the questions together in an email, and I will reply.
01:09:09.990 --> 01:09:25.050
Ari Goldstein: gladly holly let's do let's take two two more before we end and there's a great question from Andy who asks did you look for those books that you had for your father in the shed behind her house were able to ever ever be able to recover those.
01:09:25.650 --> 01:09:34.620
Elly Gotz: I think I told you that the whole getup was burnt down every house in the ghetto was totally destroyed when.
01:09:35.880 --> 01:09:52.770
Elly Gotz: Parties uncle my friend came back, she said, all I saw was a burnt how the chimneys standing that I have a picture, but I didn't show it here of what they get a look like nothing survived, but my father built up a whole new library.
01:09:53.880 --> 01:09:55.170
Elly Gotz: during his lifetime.
01:09:56.490 --> 01:09:59.490
Ari Goldstein: Well, and you definitely carry on that legacy for your love of books.
01:09:59.490 --> 01:10:10.710
Ari Goldstein: yeah and ellie our last question is you obviously are very joyful optimistic person, despite all you've gone through, how do you maintain such a positive outlook.
01:10:12.900 --> 01:10:25.290
Elly Gotz: You know I survived because I knew Jewish history, I used to say to myself what luck that I have to be in that time of history when Tara again persecuting Jews.
01:10:25.800 --> 01:10:37.860
Elly Gotz: But it's unfortunate i'll die, but he will not make it, I have a positive attitude in the how it was a central without that you couldn't survive, you have to hope that you can live, even though you didn't.
01:10:39.330 --> 01:10:41.100
Elly Gotz: expect to survive.
01:10:42.990 --> 01:10:43.530
Elly Gotz: So.
01:10:44.610 --> 01:10:46.050
Elly Gotz: having survived the home.
01:10:47.550 --> 01:10:56.670
Elly Gotz: And having made something out of my life that was good, I tried to pass it on to young people, I tried to tell them that everyone.
01:10:57.450 --> 01:11:11.130
Elly Gotz: can achieve if they learn how to do something well to learn how to do something well is such a pleasure, I still enjoy making locker playoffs even now in my apartment and I have to, I have a workshop.
01:11:12.750 --> 01:11:25.890
Elly Gotz: the pleasure of knowing something well how to do well, has medicinal properties for people, so I urge people to follow their heart and then something that they can do and.
01:11:26.910 --> 01:11:32.160
Elly Gotz: When I think of the miracle of my survival, how can I be upset.
01:11:33.210 --> 01:11:37.860
Elly Gotz: I can only be happy and being in love, is a great tell.
01:11:39.960 --> 01:11:47.220
Ari Goldstein: ellie, thank you for sharing your extraordinary story and outlook on life with us, this was a moment of through learning for all of us.
01:11:47.760 --> 01:11:56.130
Ari Goldstein: With privilege to watch you today we're very grateful to those of you in the audience will send you a link to the recording via email tomorrow.
01:11:56.460 --> 01:12:09.270
Ari Goldstein: Or you can order elliot's book flights of spirit at the link in the zoom chat and you can sign up for upcoming programs at the museum or support our work to preserve stories like ellie's and his family's also links in the chat.
01:12:10.230 --> 01:12:15.570
Ari Goldstein: Le state safe and well in Toronto, please stay in touch and thank you again.
01:12:16.020 --> 01:12:21.270
Elly Gotz: Thank you very much, and I want to tell you that they are doing wonderful work in these.
01:12:22.440 --> 01:12:33.030
Elly Gotz: presentations now that we are all locked up, and we can come and visit you it is wonderful work that you're doing in presenting history and important talks, thank you very much.
01:12:33.480 --> 01:12:34.230
Ari Goldstein: Thanks ellie.
Learn More About Lithuania During the Holocaust
Our People: Discovering Lithuania’s Hidden Holocaust traces the quest for the truth about the Holocaust in Lithuania by two ostensible enemies: Rūta Vanagaitė, a descendant of the perpetrators, and Efraim Zuroff, a descendant of the victims. Focusing on the central role played by ordinary Lithuanians, the authors expose the efforts of past and current Lithuanian governments to hide these crimes. Watch them discuss their research in this Museum program.
Discover the Story of Chiune Sugihara
Chiune Sugihara was a Japanese diplomat in Kaunas, Lithuania during WWII. Sugihara saved 6,000 Jews by issuing transit visas granting them safe passage through Japanese territory. Watch Chiune’s son, Nobuki Sugihara, tell his father’s story in this Museum program moderated by Ann Curry.
Learn About the Liberation of Dachau
Elly Gotz was a prisoner at Dachau, where he labored in an underground factory for a German company named Moll. On the morning of April 29, 1945, the U.S. 7th Army 42nd Infantry “Rainbow” Division, 45th Infantry “Thunderbird” Division, and 20th Armored Division liberated more than 30,000 men, women, and children from Dachau. Learn more about the liberation of Dachau in this Museum blog post.