Dear Editor,

I am writing to you to respond, and request correction, of an article published last spring in your newspaper “TOGETHER” regarding the actions of Belgium’s Queen Mother Elisabeth during the Holocaust years.

There were many major mistakes in that article, namely, she did try to reach an agreement with the Germans not only to leave Belgian Jews alone but ALL JEWS LIVING IN BELGIUM AT THE TIME.

1. The Talmud says: whoever saves a single life is as one saves the entire world. This certainly is what the Queen Mother Elisabeth did for as long as she was able to. She saved throusands of Belgian Jews and in the process Jews of other nationalities too including older Jews, Jewish children, my mother, my two sisters, and I.

2. My brother-in-law had a friend who was of German nationality living in Belgium who was saved by Her Majesty’s actions. Indeed, she dispatched her private emissary and secretary, le Baron de Streel, to the Caserne Dossin in Mechelen Belgium where Jews caught all over Belgium ended up before being herded onto trains – destination Auschwitz. He demanded that all the Belgian Jewish children held in the Caserne be released in his custody and thereby also saved Jewish children of other nationalities like my brother-in-law’s friend.

There is more, much more and it is all described in a doctoral thesis by Betty Garfinkels, under Max Gottschalk, of the Sociology Department of the “Universite Libre de Bruxelles” in 1965.

How sad that not only did the person who wrote the article not know anything about his subject but also did not bother to find out about it. Also sad is the fact that no one at your newspaper bothered to check the veracity of that article either.

It is imperative that facts regarding the Holocaust years be correct otherwise those who do will continue to deny that it ever took place.

I believe that Belgium’s Queen Mother Elisabeth deserves every recognition she got for her deeds during those horrible years because not only did she save one life but she saved thousands.

Thankfully and fortunately, those in charge at Yad Vashem know how to do their research.


Helene Guberek-Gettner

585 E. Wagon Bluff Drive

Tucson, AZ 85704

tel.: 520-742-1242