English עברית
Hatayeset shenolda mehashoa

The home of Moshe Frydberg, his wife Tzira and their two sons, Sioma and Avraham was Pruzany, a community of 8000, including 6000 Jews. The Frydberg family decided to stay home when the Germans attacked the USSR on June 23d. 1941. Pruzany were about 20 miles from the border and were reached already the second day of the war by the tanks of the rapidly advancing German army. Because of the focus on the rapid advance eastward the Germans did not take time to deal with the Jews for two weeks at which time the SS and the Gestapo came to enforce the new regime. Abraham was the first of the squadron pilots to be brought to Auschwitz. He is the only one of his immediate? Family to have survived the Holocaust. He authored a book entitled Alive From The Ashes in which he describes his experiences during and after WWII. The book was translated into several languages and was recently also made into a movie. In presenting here his story I used from his book.

   The regions of Poland occupied by USSR in 1939 after the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, and now conquered by the Germans in the early stages of the war against USSR, soon turned into the prime killing grounds where Hitler's Final Solution was being implemented. The murders of unprecedented proportions were committed first by exhaust gas poisoning in sealed trucks, then in special buildings and finally in the huge death factories in Auschwitz- Birkenau where millions were killed by the Cyclone B gas. After murdering the local Jews, victims from all of the Nazi occupied countries were brought there to die.
The first of our squadron to get into the “killing area” was Avraham
Frydberg whose story, which closely follows his book “ Alive From The Ashes” translated into several languages as well as made into a movie is brought here.
“My parents, my elder brother Sioma and myself were deported on February 2nd 1943 with all the rest of the Jewish inhabitants to the death camp of Auschwitz. I am the only one of the entire family to survive. My mother Zira with father Moshe were sent to the gas chamber on arrival and Sioma followed them two months later when he contracted Typhoid. I was sent to a Quarantine camp from where I was transferred to block 17 in main camp Auschwitz I. my job was unloading of building material which arrived by train. I made acquaintance with a German prisoner whom I trusted and by bribing him with dollars hidden at home in my boots, Rolf managed to change my work to cleaning streets. This work brought me outside the camp and permitted me to exchange valuables found inside to food available only on the outside. This went well until I was caught "Organizing" a pair of lady's shoes and sentenced to three months to the punishment block 11. This block in which most of the prisoners died during their stay, I also managed to leave. This happened because prior to being caught I bribed by means of a diamond I found a SS commanding officer named Stiebitz. When block 11 became overcrowded, this SS man came for an inspection in order to decide who of the prisoners has to be released. He remembered me and released me with a recommendation to assign me to a more comfortable work department. So I managed to be sent to a group whose job was to fill potatoes into sacks. This was a good place to work as I had enough potatoes to eat and they also were a good commodity to trade in.
Then I was involved with two other prisoners in an unsuccessful attempt of an escape. We were caught close to the camp, interrogated under torture and when we convinced our interrogators that the escape was not planned, sentenced to life imprisonment in the punishment block. I would not have survived the hard conditions of the punishment bock, but fortunately in October 1944 they selected prisoners for a transport to camp Sachsenhausen near Berlin. I was sent there and placed in the satellite camp of Ordorf  where I was put into an underground   production line of V-I rockets used to bomb Britain. From there they transported the Jewish prisoners to camp Grawinkel where we worked in stone quarries. At the beginning of January 1945 when the Russians approached they evacuated us to Buchenwald. In this huge concentration camp where under the conditions of persisting chaos the Jewish and Non-Jewish prisoners were mixed and the data and evidence kept by the SS were lost. I used this condition and registered as a Polish prisoner named Friederski. The Jewish prisoners were sent from Buchenwald to Theresienstadt and me with the others to the nearby Litomĕřice camp. There according to the advice of an acquaintance I volunteered with two friends to join a labor unit, with the intention to escape during the trip. They loaded us into open crowded wagon and the trip to the unknown started. During a stop at a certain station I saw a terrain loaded with coal on the rail adjacent to ours. We hopped on the coal and after a quite long trip this train stopped at the Praha – Holešovice station. In the morning a man with a girl passed near us and we   asked them in Polish for help. The man ordered us to wait and not long after returned with a luggage containing three civilian suits so that we could change our clothes on the coal train. Then the man whose name was Sobotka took us to his home, where we would wash, sleep and stay several days. Then he found us a safer hiding place in the rear room of his flower shop. The owner was Mr. Hrstka and he was a former officer in the Czechoslovak army. At the end of April 1945 he took part in the preparations for the armed uprising against the Germans. He asked us also to join and gave as uniforms, armed us with rifles and led us to the barricades where we were to fight. When the Russians arrived we were decorated for bravery and received honorary Czech citizenship. Then we were awarded apartments in town which were left by Germans who escaped. I received aid from the Prague Jewish community as well as from the American Jewish aid committee ,(Joint) which awarded me a scholarship which permitted me to start college studies in electronics. In May 1948 after the State of Israel was declared I was approached by the Israeli authorities and asked to join the pilot course.