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Oral history interview with Frieda Sysman

Oral History | Digitized | Accession Number: 1990.338.54 | RG Number: RG-50.037.0054

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    Oral history interview with Frieda Sysman


    Interview Summary
    Frieda Sysman, born in Cologne, Germany, describes her father, who had a textile business; she and her younger brother having a very happy childhood; her grandparents, who had left Poland because of the persecution of the Jews long before the Nazis came to power in Germany; her grandparents being sent back to Poland in 1938 and not surviving the war; being nine years old in 1939 when they were warned by a friendly non-Jewish neighbor that all the Jews would be killed; being sent with her seven-year-old brother to Brussels, Belgium, where the Red Cross helped to place them with Jewish families; her parents going into hiding and being smuggled to Belgium a few months later; the German occupation of Belgium and her family fleeing to France, but being caught by the Germans and sent back to Belgium; her father being deported in August 1942 and killed in Auschwitz; a priest taking her brother to an orphanage and her mother and herself to a convent; staying with a woman who did not feed her much food; being taken into the convent; being placed in charge of some younger children including her brother; the convent arranging for her to learn shorthand and typing; liberation and finding a job as secretary for the American Army; still being in touch with the convent, where she spent four years; meeting her future husband who had escaped from Poland and whose entire family had been killed; the antisemitism in Poland; getting married in 1947 and moving to Israel in 1949; her mother moving to Israel then the United States; immigrating in 1958 with her husband to the US and settling in Buffalo, NY; being affected by the memory of her experiences and finding it difficult to talk about it; and not telling her children but how they now know about the events.
    Frieda Sysman
    Mrs. Toby Back

    Physical Details

    1 videocassette (VHS) : sound, color ; 1/2 in..

    Rights & Restrictions

    Conditions on Access
    There are no known restrictions on access to this material.
    Conditions on Use
    No restrictions on use

    Keywords & Subjects

    Personal Name
    Sysman, Frieda.

    Administrative Notes

    Toby Ticktin Back of the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo conducted the interview with Frieda Sysman with the cooperation and support of WIVB-TV in Buffalo, NY. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Oral History branch received copies of interviews from the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo from 1990 - 1993. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Archives received the collection by transfer from the Oral History branch in February 1995.
    Record last modified:
    2023-11-16 08:08:29
    This page:

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