Hedi Fried (b. 1924) is an author and psychologist. She is deeply committed to working for democratic values and against racism. She was born in the town of Sighet, in Romania, was transported to Auschwitz in 1944, and worked in several labour camps, eventually ending up in Bergen-Belsen. After liberation, she came to Sweden with her sister, and has lived there ever since. Her bestselling autobiography, Fragments of a Life: the road to Auschwitz, was published in English and Swedish in the 1990s. Alice E. Olsson is a literary translator, writer, and editor working across Swedish and English. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Comparative Literature at University College London, specialising in literature and human rights.
"Something like what Anne Frank might have written had she
survived...Timeless lessons taught with simple eloquence."
"It is the telling detail that gives her testimony its
particular power...This little book, with its reminder "there are
no stupid questions, nor any forbidden ones, but there are
some...that have no answer", is a moving record of one woman's
--Nick Rennison, The Sunday Times
"Fried was 19 when she and her family were sent from
Hungary to Auschwitz. Her parents were murdered, but she and her
sister survived. They both made a home in Sweden and, ever since,
Fried, now 94, has talked to students about her experiences. This
slim but powerful volume, sensitively translated by Alice Olsson,
comprises answers to the questions she is most frequently asked,
such as: "Why did you not fight back?" and "What helped you to
survive?", "Are you able to forgive?" Fried answers with humanity,
candour and thoughtfulness in a book that should be required
reading for all young people."
--Hannah Beckerman, The Guardian
"This is terrific in that I was utterly engrossed in not
only what questions are asked of Hedi but the astute and depthful
way she answers them. I began to read the other evening and went
all the way to the end before putting this book down. It's also
potent in the ways our author touches on current issues with how we
treat 'others' as to how we become divided and in worst case
hurtful to those unlike ourselves. a big thumbs up and NOT just for
the younger generation!"
--Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield's Books
"Through questions she has been asked most, "Questions I
Am Asked About The Holocaust" is a stoically raw and deeply human
account of the author's experiences throughout the Holocaust and
surviving Auschwitz. An important, wise, and extremely powerful
--Amanda Zirn Hudson, Bethany Beach Books
"While Questions I Am Asked About the Holocaust
is very easy to read, the questions it raises are very hard to
answer. Fried, in simple, straightforward prose, answers questions
that children have asked her about her experiences. A must-have for
parents, but be prepared to answer some hard questions
--Lee Virden Geurkink, Monkey and Dog Books
"Fried, who has written a memoir about her imprisonment at
Auschwitz, has complied a book with answers to some of the most
common questions posed to her by students she meets during her
visits with schools to inform and educate people about the horrors
she and millions of others faced at the hands of the Nazis. The
questions are often simple, as children's questions often are, but
Fried's answers are anything but as she describes how insidious
evil is and how easily the masses are fooled into falling for the
lies and prejudices of a government looking for a scapegoat.
Fried's words are especially important in the growing age of
nationalism and ignorance. A book that belongs in every library,
school and public in the country and one that should be required
reading for our elected officials."
--Rosemary Smith, Williams Library, Oakland, Maine
"[S]ince these questions come from children, they quickly
reach a level of intimacy that most adults would be afraid to
venture into...Questions I Am Asked About the Holocaust is
a collection of Hedi's gentle, honest answers to these questions
over the years. With sensitivity and complete candor, Fried answers
these questions and more in this deeply human book that urges us
never to forget and never to repeat."
--The Jewish Standard, Ontario
Praise for The Road to Auschwitz:
"Fried's tale is not solely one of suffering. She is a
survivor, and this is a testimony to the ingenuity and luck that
contributed to her survival and that of her sister and friends. As
Fried reminds us: 'We must tell of this inhuman thing that was done
in the twentieth century. It must not be forgotten.'"
"[Fried's] grim struggle to survive death and labour camps
and the start of her brave efforts to create a meaningful life in
Sweden are recounted with vivid and deeply moving simplicity."