Margot Friedländer: Try to Make Your Life

Eyewitness Talk On Experiences and Fates of German Jews during the Nazi Era (video recording available, in German)

For this series of talks, the Jewish Museum Berlin invited six eyewitnesses to tell a wider audience about their fates during the Nazi era. These witnesses are closely linked to the Jewish Museum Berlin as donors. A presentation of the objects, documents, or photographs they donated, readings from selected texts or the showing of film clips will precede the talks.

recording available

Map with all buildings that belong to the Jewish Museum Berlin. The Old Building is marked in green


Old Building, level 2, Great Hall
Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin

Video recording of the eyewitness talk Margot Friedländer – Try to Make Your Life, 9 April 2018, in German; Jewish Museum Berlin 2018

Margot Friedländer

Margot Friedländer, née Bendheim, was born in 1921 in Berlin. After finishing school, she apprenticed at a tailor shop. Her family tried unsuccessfully to emigrate to the United States. From 1940 onward, Margot was compelled to perform forced labor. After her parents separated, she lived with her mother and her younger brother Ralph. In 1943, they made plans to escape the country, but Ralph was arrested by the Gestapo. Her mother confronted the Gestapo and was deported with her son to Auschwitz, where they were both murdered. She left behind a message for her daughter, which Margot brought into hiding: “Try to make your life.” The 21-year-old went underground, but was tracked down by “catchers” in 1944 and deported to Theresienstadt. She was the only member of her family to survive the camps. Together with her husband Adolph Friedländer, whom she knew from Berlin and met again in Theresiensadt, Margot moved to the US in 1946. She has been living back in Berlin since 2010.

This event is organized with the support of Berliner Sparkasse.

Portrait of Margot Friedländer

Margot Friedländer; photo: Scott-Hendryk Dillan, via Wikimedia Commons

Where, when, what?

  • When9 Apr 2018
  • Where Old Building, level 2, Great Hall
    Lindenstraße 9–14, 10969 Berlin
    See location on map

Event Series: Eyewitness Talks (14)

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