Frieda Fritzshall, 91, Dies; Survived to Create a Holocaust Museum

In interviews with the United States Holocaust Museum and the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation , Mrs. Fritzshall recall...


In interviews with the United States Holocaust Museum and the University of Southern California Shoah Foundation, Mrs. Fritzshall recalled the train ride in cattle cars to Auschwitz, during which a grandfather of hers died. “No windows, had no seats and no toilet,” she said. “When we got onto the train, none of us knew we were being taken to a concentration camp. We heard the lock go on from the outside. I believe that was the first we knew, wherever we were going to be taken to, it was not going to be freedom.”

When she arrived at the camp, Jewish prisoners assigned to unload the trains told her how to survive — by qualifying for a work detachment.

“They walked amongst us and in Yiddish would whisper to a child: ‘You’re 15. Remember you’re 15,’” she said, recalling one Jewish prisoner in particular. “When we got off the train, they asked us to line up according to age. I lined up, and I became 15 years old. I lined up with the 15-year-olds, and I truly believe that man, whoever he was, saved my life.”

Older prisoners, fearing that they would be deemed too frail to work, colored their graying hair with coal.

With the number of Holocaust survivors dwindling, Mrs. Fritzshall was committed to leaving a legacy that future generations would not forget.

“I want the world to remember and to know to never, ever, ever, ever forget about the Holocaust,” she said in a 2019 interview. “We say, ‘never again,’ but we don’t often mean ‘never again.’ ‘Never again’ must be ‘never again.’ It must stop.”

“When I am no longer here, when we, the survivors, are no longer here,” she said, “our stories are going to live and our stories are going to go on.”

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Newsrust - US Top News: Frieda Fritzshall, 91, Dies; Survived to Create a Holocaust Museum
Frieda Fritzshall, 91, Dies; Survived to Create a Holocaust Museum
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