Fled From Salzburg

Salzburger Nachrichten (05/15/04)

As a young twelve year - old boy, Fred Friedman fled Salzburg in 1938 from the National Socialists. He now has returned to report his experiences.

St. Johann - With the invasion of the Germans, Fred Friedman ended his youth in Salzburg in 1938. The Jewish family succeeded in fleeing to the U.S.A. Upon invitation by the high school in St. Johann, Friedman has now returned.

Friedman was born in Salzburg in 1926. His family lived in the Haunspergstraße. "From my room I could see the Lehener Bridge as the German troops were coming," tells Friedman. Suddenly, the situation worsened for the Jews: "Friends turned around and threw stones at us. I was thrown out of school and was not allowed in the swimming pool. Many Jews failed to sense the danger, but friends told us, "You have to leave."

Friedman’s father was for a short time in the concentration camp in Dachau, but he was saved by a friend. Later his mother said: "We are taking a trip. You mustn’t utter a word in the train." Friedman and his sister were registered together in a fake passport of a woman. They were permitted to go to Switzerland. Only some time later the mother was smuggled over the border. From Switzerland they fled via France, Spain and Portugal to the U.S.A.

"I have no hatred. Most people are decent," says Friedman today. While fleeing, they met by chance a soldier from Salzburg who recognized them. Nonetheless, he let them cross the border, thereby risking his own life.

Fred Friedman resides in Akron, New York and is the Austrian Honorary Consul for Buffalo and Rochester, New York.