Skip To Content
Get Our Newsletter
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
The Schmooze

A Deaf Holocaust Survivor’s Harrowing Tale

Leave your headphones at home.

Charlotte Friedman, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor, tells her story for the first time in a two part video series produced by Jewish.TV, the multimedia branch of Chabad.org. The twist? Friedman, who is deaf, conducted the interview entirely in American Sign Language.

The videos are part of a joint effort between Jewish Deaf Multimedia and Rabbi Joshua Soudakoff to reach out to the Jewish deaf community.

Friedman’s tale of escape from a Dutch internment camp is especially astonishing given that many deaf people were tortured and killed by the Nazis.

Friedman recounts her childhood in Germany, including how her parents managed to provide her with an education despite her impairment and the enactment of the Nuremberg laws. She also discusses how she crossed paths with another persecuted Jewish girl hiding out in Amsterdam — Anne Frank. Her parents befriended Anne Frank’s parents, but the bonds were broken when the Friedmans left for America.

Though she chatters away on many other subjects, when asked about her remarkable endurance, Friedman simply states: “I was very lucky.”

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free under an Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives Creative Commons license as long as you follow our republishing guidelines, which require that you credit Foward and retain our pixel. See our full guidelines for more information.

To republish, copy the HTML, which includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline, and credit to Foward. Have questions? Please email us at [email protected]

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.