nov 9, 1938 - Fritz's Story


Fritz was walking with his father, Hugo, on the side of the road when trucks came squealing up to them. The men in the trucks were Germans from the "Assault Division." They took Hugo from Fritz and they dragged him across the street. Hugo kept falling down, and when he fell they kicked him. Fritz was mad so he yelled "Stop! Stop kicking my papa!" But the Germans didn't care and the grabbed Fritz by the arm and threw him down to the ground. Hugo was thrown into a truck and whisked away leaving Fritz all by himself weeping on the sidewalk. Fritz's family was poor, when they went to fairs Fritz's couldn't ride anything, and their house was so small that when family came over they had to sleep on the ground. A kind women took Fritz back to his apartment after his dad was taken, and she explained what had happened to Hugo to his mother, Adela. Adela went to go find Fritz's dad, and left Fritz again alone. After a while of waiting, Hugo and Adela walked through the door and everyone was safe again. Fritz was the only Jewish boy in his class, so he constantly got bullied by other kids. Hugo and Adela rarely left their apartment building, and when they did it was only for necessities. One day the Gestapo came to their apartment and said "You have fours to gather your stuff and leave, and if you are still here by the time we come back you will be arrested!" Adela and Fritz broke down after the Gestapo left, but then Adela decided to move her family into a one-room apartment above a house. The room had no running water or bathroom. Fritz had blondish hair and didn't look Jewish so his parents would let him walk to the park alone sometimes. The Friedmans decided to go to England. In January of 1939 they headed to the train station with what they could carry. They went to Germany and stayed with a Jewish family for a couple of weeks. The Friedmans tried to cross the three times but the Germans kept turning them back, but they found a Belgium barber who rented his passport so that they could cross into Belgium. The Friedmans started feeling like normal people again until the Germans took over and controlled Belgium. They left Belgium and wandered from village to village. Adela and Hugo decided to send just Fritz to the train station so that someone else could take him to a safer place. Andree was the girl taking Fritz and other Jewish kids to a safe place called a majestic chateau that had been converted into an orphanage. About two weeks after Fritz's arrival he got homesick so he decided to go back home. In the middle of the night Fritz snuck out and went to the train station. Fritz arrived safely back in Brussels and he walked home. The Gestapo almost caught the Friedmans but a family friend found them another house that they could live in for a little bit. Adela contacted Andree again and she took Fritz into constuding and Andree gave him a new name, Fritz was now Alfred DeWilde. He was taken to a Catholic seminary, where he had to learn how to speak a new language and how to worship as a Catholic. Gestapo got suspicious that the Catholic seminary was hiding Jewish kids so Fritz was one of the ten kids that got moved one sanctuary to another. Fritz arrived at Cul-des-Sarts, and the German were going to come and inspect the school, so Madame Van lined the kids up and sent the kids who looked Jewish to hide in the woods. Fritz didn't look Jewish so he was chosen to stay. Madame told Fritz what to say when the Germans ask the kids questions. Fritz passed the first visit from the Germans, but he would have to endure four more visits. By the summer kids started seeing signs of German retreat, and one day Americans arrived to the orphanage and declared that they were free. Over a couple days the Americans would take trips to the orphanage and bring the kids chocolates and goodies to the Jewish children. Fritz was so happy that he finally was no longer a hidden child.

Added to timeline:

9 months ago
Survivors of the Holocaust


nov 9, 1938
~ 80 years ago
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