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Survivor Portraits – Jacqueline Dale

At the beginning of every month we will be featuring a treasured Holocaust survivors’ story.

This month, we introduce Jacqueline Dale (nee Feldman). Born in 1931 in Paris, Jacqueline was hidden in an orphanage from 1942, at the age of 11, until liberation.

Jacqueline’s father thought that despite being Jewish, because of his family’s position in Paris and his service in the French military, the Nazis would not intern him. Nonetheless, he was deported in 1941, and sent to Auschwitz in 1942. Jacqueline was 11 years old and her brother was 5 when her father was taken away. This, Jacqueline explains, was the start of her life as a child survivor.

When it became clear that Jacqueline and her brother’s lives were in danger, they left Paris to a Catholic orphanage on the Spanish border. The only person who knew that they were Jewish was the Principal, and they were able to stay at the orphanage, and participate in the Catholic curricular activities, until the end of the war in 1945.

It wasn’t until 50 years after the war ended, in 1995, when Jacqueline publicly addressed her childhood experiences, in a Spielberg interview for the Shoah Foundation.

Jacqueline volunteers at the Sydney Jewish Museum, and finds it a useful place of memorial for her father, her grandparents, and extended family, all of whom were killed by the Nazis.

The wooden passenger ship that Jacqueline holds was carved by her father while he was being held in the Pithiviers internment camp in France, 1941/42. This object is on display at the Museum alongside Jacqueline’s story.