Jewish survivors of the Holocaust
Freund, Fred (1 of 2) Holocaust Survivors Centre Interviews
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Holocaust Survivors Centre Interviews
Freund, Fred, 1928- (speaker, male)
Erbmann, Emilie (speaker, male)
Part 1: Fred Freund was born in Prague in 1928. He only remembers his paternal grandfather. Theodor Freund vaguely. His father, Leo Freund, served in the first world war, and later worked as a sales manager in a glove firm. His mother, Marketa Wehle, died when Fred was 6 years old. Fred grew up in a relatively poor area of Prague. He was brought up by a succession of au pairs, as he didn’t get on with any of them, except the last one, who was also called Marketa. The family was not religious; Fred went to the local primary school, but doesn’t remember much of his time there. His father used to take him on outings to the country and to the cinema. His father and aunt Fritzi Kisch were very worried about the situation in Germany, and later about the situation in Sudetenland and in Czechoslovakia it self. Leo Freund was called up for the army in 1938 because of the Sudeten crisis. Fred gives a good description of the crisis it self. He remembers the German invasion into Prague, and having to say “heil Hitler” when German soldiers were around. His aunt Fritzi and her two children Edith and Herbert spent the war England, before moving on to the USA. Before going on the kinder transport. Fred was told he was going on a holiday to England for a few months. He describes the journey as being very exciting. When the train rolled into Holland, people there were very nice to them, and gave them drinks. He was picked up from Liverpool Street Station by reverend Edwin Esling, who took him into his home in Nottingham, where Fred went to school. When the war broke out Fred had to learn how to use gas masks; they had a shelter in the back garden. He became very anglosized and forgot the Czeck language. Edwin got married and moved and Fred went into a children’s home so that he could finish his school. He only learned about the holocaust when the war was over, and shortly after the war, received a letter from his father who survived in Auschwitz, where he lost his second wife, whom he had married before the war. He also survived the deathmarch. Of all the family that had stayed in Prague, only his father’s sister Helena survived. He married his third wife Walenka after the war. Fred found work at an import – export agency in Nottingham, before going to Nottingham University in 1948, to study economics. He met his wife Greta in Berlin in 1950, and married in 1952. He has three children: Michael, Ann and Vivienne. He worked for most of his life for Price Waterhouse as a management consultant. His wife died a few years ago. Fred now works for the Citizens Advice Bureau, travels and plays golf. End of interview.