Download Full Text (3.6 MB)
Five postcards written in blue and black ink. All bearing blue french stamps.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash:
The OSE (L'Œuvre de Secours aux Enfants) was a humanitarian children’s aid organization providing social and medical assistance to Jewish families in need. After 1933, OSE’s main office was moved from Berlin to Paris, where Jewish children - refugees from Nazi Germany and Austria - were placed in OSE children’s homes in the area. By 1939 more than 200 children had been placed in one of these homes in Paris. OSE also provided social services to foreign Jews living in internment camps such as Gurs and Rivesaltes. OSE attempted to relocate Jewish children from these camps to homes in the unoccupied Vichy region of France where they would be cared for. With the German occupation of the Vichy region in 1942, the OSE mission changed to more clandestine activities: the development of hiding places, the creation of false documents, and smuggling children across the border to Switzerland and Spain. Through the heroic efforts of the OSE, more than 5000 Jewish children were saved from Nazi extermination. OSE’s work continued post-liberation assisting surviving children from Buchenwald find placements in French rehabilitation facilities.
The Goldstein family had lived in a flat on Bismarck Street in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin. The parents, David and Frida, did well in the family business: a smoker’s shop. Oscar, then an adolescent, has stated in reminiscing about the OSE and his own experiences as a refugee, that his parents decided to emigrate after Kristallnacht when the store was destroyed. By that time, however, it was not possible for them to obtain visas. They left for Belgium, first the father and then Oscar and his sister Rita and mother. Escape was difficult, they went back to Cologne, and this time were successfully smuggled into Belgium. The family received aid from the Jewish humanitarian organization AJJDC or “Joint” and were able to stay in a hotel until the Germans invaded Belgium in May 1940. At this point the family left for France on foot. Oscar would eventually be interned through the OSE at the Rivesaltes camp, while his sister Rita was placed by OSE in Hotel d’Angers in Le Mans early in the German occupation. Father David Goldstein would be deported to Auschwitz where he was murdered.
These 5 postcards appear to be written by several family members living at the Villa des Tourelles, an OSE “safe house” located in the Paris region at 113 Rue de Paris, Soisy-sous-Montmorency, France, all addressed to daughter Rita Goldstein placed by the OSE at the Hotel d’Angers in Le Mans. The postcards are somewhat illegible but appear to be written just before the German occupation of France.
5 3/4 x 4"
L'Œuvre de secours aux enfants, OSE, Rita Goldstein, Chabannes, Izieu
Kindertransport, Personal, Rescue
"Postcards Sent by Family to Jewish Child Rita Goldstein Sheltered by OSE" (1940). Bulmash Family Holocaust Collection. 2021.1.46a-e.