Timeline - Matilda Steinberg Goodfriend


Matilda Steinberg Goodfriend was born in Teresva, Hungary (Later Czechoslovakia, Now Ukraine).


After Germany invaded Hungary, Matilda and her family were sent to Mátészalka Ghetto for four weeks and then sent to Auschwitz. They stayed there for a few weeks, losing Matilda’s parents and brothers. Matilda and her sisters were then transported to southern Germany to a place called Geislingen in Wurttemberg at the Geislingen Munitions Factory.

February-March: The Geislingen Munitions factory was bombed seven or eight months after they arrived. Matilda and her sisters were then moved to Auschwitz, and then to Natzweiler-Struthof. They were given even less food in these camps since there was no factory to work in there.


Mid-April: Matilda and her sisters were taken by train to Dachau Concentration Camp, staying there for three to four weeks. While there, they were forced to pick edible grass which was made into soup. While traveling by train from Dachau they were cut off because the Allies were closing in on Germany. When the Americans arrived, many of the desperate and hungry prisoners rushed to the train car to find food while others went to town. The following day they were rounded up by the Americans and taken to a Nazi officers’ recreation camp. There, they were cleaned up and given medical help and food. Matilda and her sisters returned home to Czechoslovakia. After living in their hometown for a while after liberation, the sisters were contacted by their maternal uncle, who had also survived the war. He invited them to come to Romania and live with him. The sisters moved to Romania but stayed only two weeks because that part of the country had become Communist. Instead, they chose to stay in Czechoslovakia.


Matilda moved to Israel. After getting married, her husband wrote to family he had in Athens, Tennessee to let them know he had survived.


After Matilda’s husband almost died in the Sinai War, the family decided to move to Athens, Tennessee. At the time, they had one child and Matilda was pregnant with their daughter.


Matilda and her family moved to Knoxville, Tennessee.


December 9: Matilda Goodfriend passed away and was buried in the New Jewish Cemetery, also known as Heska Amuna Cemetery, in Knoxville, Tennessee.