GELDZAHLER, Eli Joshua (age 14)
GELDZAHLER, Esther (age 36)
GELDZAHLER, Joseph (age 10)
GELDZAHLER, Judith (age 5)
GELDZAHLER, Malvine (age 12)
GELDZAHLER, Mendel (age 41)

The GELDZAHLER family received Portuguese transit visas in Bayonne in June 1940.

The GELDZAHLER family crossed into Portugal where they resided in Figueira da Foz. They subsequently sailed from Lisbon to New York on the vessel Lourenço Marques in February 1941.

Testimonial of Rabbi Joshua Geldzahler, 2013

The family fled Antwerp on May 12 but on May 13, my father Mendel Geldzahler returned to Antwerp to get some things he had left behind. He picked up another Jewish family and his “sefer Torah.” The family carried the Torah all the way to Portugal.

We received Portuguese transit visas in Bayonne in June 1940, then crossed into Spain on June 27, 1940 at Hendaye. When we got to Hendaye, there were long lines at the border. The border was closed. The following day, the border was open but it was closed for Bordeaux visas. We were able to enter Spain with our car. We spent one night in St. Sebastian and another in Salamanca. At the Portuguese border we were sent to Figueira da Foz where we stayed for eight months before traveling to the U.S. in February 1941.

In Figueira da Foz there were no synagogues but my father made a minyan every Sabbath and also had a sukkah there. When we traveled to the States, we brought the Torah with us. It now resides with Moishe Geldzahler, my son who is also a rabbi, in Jerusalem.