Four Friends

Object Day Regensburg: Alexander Fried

“Show us your story!” – Beginning in 2017, the Jewish participants in the Object Days project have answered this invitation by recounting their migration stories.

Elderly man holding a drawn picture with four trees in a frame in his hands

Alexander Fried, born in 1925 in Králová, Czechoslovakia, now Czechia.
Has lived in seven countries since the Second World War, now living between Tirschenreuth, Bavaria and Prague.
University lecturer.
Jewish Museum Berlin, photo: Stephan Pramme

In 1942, I arrived in the camp at Žilina. On the way there, we still had no clue; we were still singing Hebrew songs. Then suddenly we saw the gate and “Arbeit macht frei” (Work Will Set You Free). For 58,000 Jews, the next stop after that camp was Majdanek or Treblinka. There were five of us friends: Kurt Alt, Shani Spronz, Isi Miadovnik, Paul Zlatner, and me. Of the five of us, I was the only one to survive.

In 1952, I received my doctorate in Vienna. Later I lived in Belgium, Israel, and Canada. I have lived in seven countries. When I was living in Marienbad, I lost my voice once and visited the doctor in the next town, Tirschenreuth. He told me there was also a Jewish doctor here – and that’s how I met my current wife and wound up in Tirschenreuth.

The painting shows four trees, which stand for my four friends who were murdered. I asked a street artist in Netanya, Israel, to paint it for me. This painting is very important to me. I have several copies of it that I hang up wherever I live.

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