As a child in what was then Romania, Frieda Tabak’s family was forced out of their home in 1940 by the Russian army and went to live with an uncle. In 1941, they were again forced out of their home, this time by the Nazi’s. All of Chernovitz’s Jews were told at 6:00 a.m. on October 11th they had until 6:00 p.m. to move into a ghetto. The next six years for Frieda’s family involved constant hardship, terror and turmoil. Eventually Frieda, along with her family, arrived in Chester at 15 knowing no English.
Eighty-five-year-old Frieda never told her story to anyone, including her husband or three children, until just 15 years ago during a Passover Seder. “It felt good to finally share it,” said Frieda.
Fortunately, Frieda hasn’t stopped sharing her story since. As part of its work to create a more just society, the Jewish Federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council provides opportunities for community members to learn about the Shoah. Last year, the Jewish Federation engaged 2,700 people in programming made possible by Survivors like Frieda who teach the lessons of the Holocaust.
Said Frieda, “There is so much bullying going on, and the Holocaust is bullying to the extreme. And now with anti-Semitism rising, I see the 30s all over again. It’s so very important for us to participate in educational programs like the Jewish Federation’s. There’s another Survivor leaving each day. If we don’t teach younger people now, who will?”