Freddie Knoller's Story
1) Freddie Knoller was born in Vienna in Austria.
2) My father was an accountant. My mother was very easygoing and very musical.
3) I was set upon ever so often by Christian children on my way to school.
4) On the night of 9 November 1938, when the Nazis burnt down all the synagogues, my parents insisted that we, the children, should emigrate.
5) I was the first one to leave, going illegally to Belgium.
6) When the Germans invaded Belgium in 1940, everyone fled to France.
7) After spending time in the unoccupied zone of Vichy, I moved to Paris where the Gestapo eventually arrested me.
8) At the beginning of October 1943 I was taken to the railway station where people were squeezed into cattle wagons.
9) When we arrived we saw a sign “Osviecim” (Auschwitz) on the railway platform.
10) The SS selected the younger people who were to walk to the camp, but trucks took the older men and women with their children away to be murdered in the gas chambers.
11) On 18 January 1945, as the Russians approached Auschwitz, the whole camp was evacuated.
12) We travelled through Austria and Germany until we reached Dora-Nordhausen camp, the place where the V1 and V2 rockets were manufactured.
13) As the American troops were nearing our region, we were evacuated to Bergen-Belsen.
14) There was no more food available. We dug into the ground to find some edible roots. Many collapsed from hunger and dysentery and died.
15) On 15 April 1945, British troops entered Bergen-Belsen.
16) I returned to France.
17) Freddie returned to France and was looked after by his friend Robert, a French doctor from the Auschwitz train.
“In 1947, I emigrated to the USA and became a US citizen. In 1950 I got married to Freda. After two years in Baltimore, my wife became homesick and we made our way back to her parents in London. “
This is a summary of a fuller description that you can find at http://www.hmd.org.uk/resources/survivor-stories/holocaust-testimony-freddie-knoller