Article in the Mobile Register, May 5, 1998

Holocaust Survivor Frieda Freidman dies
Memories of her five years in Nazi concentration camps haunted the 85-year-old native of Poland, says her daughter

By Kim Lanier
Staff Reporter

Frieda Freidman was a very troubled and very sad woman, her daughter said.

A Jew in war-torn Krakow, Poland, Mrs. Friedman spent five years during World War II in Nazi concentration camps. Her family members and friends knew that the memories haunted her.

Mrs. Freidman, a resident of Mobile for the past eight years, died Saturday at the age of 85. She was a homemaker and a member of Spring Hill Avenue Temple.

Her daughter, Rachel Borak of Mobile, said her mother had talked a lot about her experiences during the Holocaust before developing Alzheimer's Disease and suffering a stroke. "She talked about the conditions, how terrible they were. The hardest thing was she lost her family. She was pretty eloquent when she spoke. It stayed with her and was a part of her identity.

In an interview that appeared in the Mobile Register on Jan. 27, 1995, Mrs. Freidman recalled how she was forced into a Nazi labor camp soon after Poland's collapse in 1939. She spent two years making German uniforms and clothes at Plaszow, near Krakow. It was there that Oskar Schindler established his factory and saved 1,110 Jews on his list of laborers.

"She saw a lot of horrors, saw a lot of people getting killed. She was fortunate that she was able to work," her daughter said.

In the 1995 interview, Mrs. Friedman said she was shipped to the Bergen-Belsen camp and then to Auschwitz. "They took us to put in the gas chamber. They put 80 people in the gas chamber and took the rest of us back to Bergen-Belsen."

She told of a bout with typhus that made her lose her appetite and thereby saved her from eating soup laced with ground glass. Other inmates ate it and died.

During the Holocaust, Mrs. Freidman lost her parents, her eight brothers and her first husband.

"I feel very bad. I feel very sorry. I cry in the night. I cry a lot" when thinking back on the loss of those she loved and on her own suffering, she told the Register.

After the war, she went to Sweden where she remarried and had two children. The family moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., before Mrs. Friedman and her husband settled in Mobile.

In addition to her daughter, she is survived by a son, Max Friedman of Larchmont, M.Y.: and six grandchildren.

Burial took place Sunday at Spring Hill Avenue Temple Cemetery.

The family suggests that memorials be made to Spring Hill Avenue Temple or the Pre-school Center for Sensory Impaired.