Fried, Hedi. “Questions I Am Asked About the Holocaust”, translated by Alice E. Olsson, Scribe, 2016.
Daring to Ask, Daring to Answer
Without doubt, we all have questions about the Holocaust and, of course, not all questions have answers. It is important to remember that “There are no stupid questions, nor any forbidden ones, but there are some questions that have no answer.”
Hédi Fried was nineteen when the Nazis took her family from their home in Eastern Europe and sent them to Auschwitz. Her parents were murdered and she and her sister were forced into hard labor until the end of the war. Fried in now 94-years-old and today spends her life educating young people about the Holocaust and answering their questions about the darkest period in human history. Some of the questions are quite simple such as ‘How was it to live in the camps?’, ‘Did you dream at night?’, ‘Why did Hitler hate the Jews?’, and ‘Can you forgive?’. These simple questions are the ones we all have.
Fried knows not only how to answer these questions and even the more difficult ones and as she does so candidly as she reminds us that we must never forget. As horrible as the Holocaust was, we must never let it out of consciousness. For those who not only can remember the time or those who experienced it, this book can bring up unpleasant memories.
The answers to the questions come to us as essays which is a convenient way of constructing this book. The Holocaust was so awful that we cannot really comprehend what really went on. Fried’s answers touch us and reflect on that terrible time when all seemed lost.
From the Press:
“Hédi Fried is a remarkable woman and her writing offers important insights into truly terrible events and the slow, insidious way in which hatred can be fostered. Questions I Am Asked About the Holocaust is an easy to read account of things that are almost too horrible to comprehend. The essays represent an individual’s reflections on matters that touch the whole of humanity and, as Fried hopes, the lessons she has to teach about the past should serve as a warning for the future.”