A voice unsilenced: Holocaust survivor Betty Gold tells her story so young people understand

The toddler wouldn’t stop crying.

The mother frantically tried to shush her daughter. She rocked her, she spoke softly to her, she kissed her.

But the shrieks intensified.

The other people in the tiny space bit their lips, their eyes darting nervously.

The mother clamped one hand over the girl’s mouth and the other on her soft neck.

She squeezed her daughter’s windpipe. Hard.

The crying stopped.

Whenever Betty Potash Gold gets to this point in her life story, something happens to the people listening. They stiffen. Their eyes bulge. Sometimes they gasp.

Gold is not the mother. Gold was 11 when she watched the woman kill her child. She didn’t understand how it could happen. She worried that she might be the next one to die.

Now, 66 years later, she knows why the woman — her cousin — did it.

“She did it to save us,” says the Beachwood grandmother.

Over the years, Gold has told her riveting story about surviving the Holocaust by hiding in woods near her home in Poland to thousands of people. Many were students who visited the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood, where she is a docent.

Source: Janet Fillmore/Plain Dealer Religion Editor, Cleveland.com