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Betty Gold, 1930–2014

Jul 24th, 2014

Author and Holocaust survivor BETTY GOLD (nee Potash), age 83, passed away peacefully on July 23, 2014.  Mother of the late Michael (Barbara) Gold and the late Allan (Karen) Gold, she is survived by her son Sheldon Gold, grandchildren Benjamin (Christina) Gold of Columbus, David, Evan, and Nikoli of Atlanta, six nieces and nephews, 19 great nieces and nephews and four great-great nephews and nieces and a sister in law, Bertha Gold (Chicago).  Betty was the daughter of Rivka and Eli (deceased); sister of Shimon and Bernard (deceased)

A Holocaust survivor from Trochenbrod, Poland (now Ukraine), Betty was known throughout northeast Ohio for telling her story from a happy childhood to utter despair to salvation in the new world of Cleveland, Ohio.

In 1942 the Nazis invaded the town and Betty and her family escaped into the forest.  Betty was the last survivor of Trochenbrod living in the United States.  Betty immigrated to Cleveland in 1946.  She graduated from Cleveland Heights High School and married and became a mother.  She was a docent at the Maltz Museum of Jewish, Heritage and the Museum of Contemporary Art.  She spoke extensively to high school and college students about her Holocaust experience.  She is featured in the 2013 Cleveland Film Festival documentary, Lost Town and authored a book, Beyond Trochenbrod: The Betty Gold Story which was published and is currently distributed throughout the world.  Her story has also been briefly told in the 2011 publication, The Heavens are Empty.

Up until her recent illness, Betty spoke for Maltz Museum to school and adult groups and frequently travelled to speak to groups of all ages from New York to Seattle.  She was also a frequent guest speaker for Face-to-Face, the Holocaust education program at Congregation Shaarey Tikvah.

Betty would start all her talks with, “I am not a speaker.  I talk.  Betty Gold talk.”  Had anyone been the least bit reticent about hearing a Holocaust story, she immediately put them at ease.  She had a way of making every re-telling of her story seem like the first time and her audience invariably responded with applause, hugs, chocolate bars and invitations to return.

Betty will be sorely missed by her family, friends, and the thousands of acquaintances she made along the way.

Donations may be made in Betty’s name to Face-to-Face, c/o Congregation Shaarey Tikvah, 26811 Fairmount Boulevard, Beachwood, OH  44122 (, to the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage, 2929 Richmond Road, Beachwood, OH  44122 ( or the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl SW, Washington, DC 20024 (

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