Their Story

Albert Gosschalk was born in 1920 in the Dutch village of Wijhe. By 1923, he and his family had moved to Deventer, another city in the Netherlands, where he was the only Jew in his school class. In 1939, after finishing school, he obtained an apprenticeship in the meatpacking business to learn the family trade.

In 1940, after the German occupation of the Netherlands, Bert went into hiding with his wife, Doris. After brief stays with several Dutch families willing to hide them for money, the couple moved to a small wooden cottage in the woods outside of Deventer. Bert participated in the Dutch resistance movement, and both he and Doris were captured and arrested in January 1945 after a resistance effort to blow up a nearby railroad failed.

The Gosschalks spent the rest of the war imprisoned by the Nazis, first in a local jail and then at Westerbork concentration camp in the Netherlands. After the camp was liberated by the Allies in April 1945, Bert was chosen to help prepare the camp to house imprisoned Dutch Nazis and assist in its operation. He served in this capacity for three months before returning to Deventer with his wife and infant daughter. The family eventually joined Bert's brother in the United States in 1951 and settled in Charleston, South Carolina, around 1962.


Bert & Doris Gosschalk

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