Meet Our Survivors

On May 14, 2014 by katmace@me.com

 


Meet Our Survivors!!!


Freddie Knoller

Freddie Knoller

  • Born in Vienna, 1921
  • Lived with his mother & father and two brothers Otto & Erich
  • Together they made up the ‘Knoller Brothers Trio’ – with Freddie playing cello, Otto playing the piano and Erich on the violin. (Shown here)
  • March 1938, Freddie and his brothers fled. HIs parents remained behind, later perishing in Auschwitz.
  • Throughout 1939, Freddie stayed in several refugee camps, playing in camp orchestras and briefly reuniting with cousins & even with his cello!
  • May 1940, fleeing the German invasion, Freddie journeyed to France where he¬†was arrested and sent to St. Ciprien concentration camp in the South of France
  • He escaped and went to Mon Matre, in france where he worked as a doorman in a nightclub. Here he met Jacqueline
  • Freddie joined the French resistance
  • Jacqueline betrays him, Freddie is arrested and taken to Drancy transit camp.
  • Freddie was then, sent to Auscwhitz, where he received his number ‘157103’
  • His friend Dr Robert Waitz, gives him extra food, finds him less strenuous work
  • Dec 1944, forced to march to Dora, near Nordhausen.
  • April 1945, Americans liberated the camp
  • Freddie returend to France, was sent to French village where he was reunited with his brother Erich
  • Otto was a doctor in the USA, in 1947 freddie emigrated to the US where he met his wife Freda in 1950. By 31st december, they were married.
  • He returned to England with Freda, and has two daughters, Marcia and Susie and a grandson Nadav.

I’ll even treat you to some live cello from Freddie himself, who was kind enough to allow myself and my crew a little performance! AT 92 YEARS OLD!!!

Susan Pollack

Susan Pollack

 

  • Born in 1930, in Felsogod, Hungary.
  • Lived with her mother, father and brother Laci.
  • Her uncle was murdered in 1938 by fascists and Laci was forbidden entry to university as a Jew
  • Susan’s father found her a school accepting Jewish students in Budapest, she was forced to sit at the back, wear the yellow star on her arm and forbidden to integrate.
  • In 1939, many Jews, including her father were beaten, herded onto lorries and driven away to concentration camps.
  • April 1944, over just 6 weeks, Susan and the remaining Hungarian Jews, were rounded up and deported. Most of them to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
  • Susan, Laci and their mother were sent to the ghetto in Vac, then onto an internment camp before finally in May 1944, being transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau.
  • On arrival, Susan was selected to work. Her mother, was sent straight to the gas chamber.
  • After 10weeks of work at Auschwitz, Susan was transferred to Gubben to work as an armaments labourer.
  • Soon fearing the approaching Allies, the Nazis forced Susan and so many others, on to the famous 790km death-march towards Bergen-Belsen.
  • 15th April 1945, Susan was liberated from Bergen-Belsen, starving, weak and frail with Tb and typhoid and completely unable to feel any exuberance.
  • Susan then went to Sweden to recover, like many other survivors
  • Her brother Laci, returned to the family home in hungary. Having been forced to work in the Sonderkmmando, moving bodies from the gas chambers during the war, he suffered prolonged mental health problems until his death 1995.
  • Susan moved to Canada from Sweden, where she met her husband, a fellow survivor.
  • She now lives in London, England with her husband. She has three children and six grandchildren.
  • Susan lost almost 50 relatives during the holocaust and yet remains one of the most humble and kind human beings I have ever had the privilege to meet.

Zigi Shipper

Zigi is like a celebrity among the survivor community, known for his lively personality and fun-loving demeanour. He is one of the busiest survivors I know, sharing his story with people almost everyday. For this reason, Zigi only appears briefly in the film, but it does not make his story any less harrowing or any less important than the others.

Zigi Shipper

  • Born 18th Jan 1930, in Lodz Poland
  • His parents divorced when he was 5yrs old, as it was frowned upon among Orthodox Jews, he was told his mother had died
  • He then lived with his father and grandparents
  • 1939 Zigi’s father escaped to Russia, believing that the young and the elderly would be left alone
  • 1940 zigi and his grandparents were forced in the Lodz ghetto. His father tried to return but could not get inside. He never saw his father again.
  • 1941, zigi and his grandmother were out on lorries to be deported. Zigi jumped off unnoticed and remained working in the ghetto metal factory until the ghetto was liquidised in 1944.
  • 1944, on liquidation of Lodz, all were sent on cattle trucks to auschwitz birkenau. Zigi was selected for work. Within an hour all those that weren’t, were dead. His grandmother inexplicably was also selected to be spared.
  • A few weeks later, all surviving workers were sent to concentration camp near Danzig where Xigi volunteered to work at a railway yard – not knowing if this would put him in better place or send him to his death. Luckily it meant that Xigi was given more food.
  • Here Five co-workers were caught stealing cigarettes and condemned to hanging. They all jumped from the stools themselves rather than for by Nazi hands.
  • Zigi and fellow workers were forced to walk the death march. They arrived at the German naval town of Neustadt and were told that they would go to Denmark
  • 3rd May 1945, All of the Nazis fled during a British air raid. In all the chaos Zigi emerged to be surrounded by British troops. He pleaded with them that they were Jewish and not to shoot.
  • Zigi had typhus, and only made it to liberation due to the friends that helped support him as they walked. He was hospitalised for 3 months then he and his friends sent to displaced persons camp
  • 1947 Zigi arrived in the Uk, married and had a family. He now lives in Hertfordshire.

 

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