Frieda explains why she ended up in Scotland as a domestic servant. She tells the interviewers that she had intended to study languages but the Nazis ended her hopes of an education.

INT: So what age were you when… You said you were 18 when you came here. How did you leave Germany?

FL: Because of Hitler.

INT: But how did you, did you go on one of the…Because you would have been too old for the Kindertransport train. Did you come…?

FL: No I wasn’t… I wasn’t young enough for that. I was 18. I came to domestic service.

INT: Did you get a Visa?

FL: I had a… Yes you got a Visa to come over.

INT: Who helped you get the Visa?


FL: Do you know, I can’t remember now …who got it. I think it was the Jewish Refugee… What do you call it? Association.

INT: Yes, yes.

INT: And did you come to England first or did you come straight to Scotland?

FL: I came to Edinburgh.

INT: Oh right.

INT: How did you come?

FL: Oh do you know I can’t remember now.

INT: On a train do you think?


FL: Boat, by boat.

INT: A boat.

FL: I came from Hamburg to Leith.

INT: Hamburg to Leith?

FL: Uh huh that’s how and Leith is near Edinburgh isn’t it?

INT: That’s right, that’s right.

INT: That must have been quite a journey I think.

FL: It was right enough and I was sick I remember, quite seasick at the time.

INT: And was there anyone on the boat that you got friendly with?


FL: No, I don’t think so. I can’t remember now. I think I did, I think I got friendly with Gitta. She was a refugee herself. I can’t remember now.

INT: So when you came to Edinburgh, to Leith…

FL: Gitta Frei. Did you ever hear of her?

INT: Gitta?

FL: Frei. F-r-e-i.

INT: Gitta Frei? No, who was she?

FL: She was a Jewish girl too.

INT: And did she come to Edinburgh?


FL: She came to Edinburgh. She came on the boat with me and right enough we were friends after it, because she went into domestic service and so did I.

INT: And what, how did you, how did you find a house to go to, to be a domestic worker?

INT: The Quakers. And they were very much involved in helping young people to come over.

FL: They were very nice to me. Nice people.

INT: So before you left, you were 18.

FL: 18.

INT: And you weren’t going to school because you weren’t able to go to school but what were you doing? How were you earning a living in Germany before you left?

FL: I can’t remember now.


INT: Do you think you were… Because you’ve obviously got a talent for jewellery making so I just wondered whether you did…?

INT: So when you came over when you were 18, did you know any English before you came?

FL: No.

INT: Gosh how did you?…That must have been quite difficult.

FL: I had learned some French. I went to grammar school in Crailsheim, passed my exam but I wasn’t allowed to finish my education, being Jewish. And I think the French helped because there are certain French words are English, you know. I really was not bad at languages and I think that’s what I would have gone for if I had been allowed to finish my education.


INT: So you wouldn’t have stayed on the farm?

FL: No.

INT: And you wouldn’t have been a baker?

FL: No. No, no. I went to grammar school. I passed, in Crailsheim. Passed my exam and then because of the Nazis I only had two years education and then I was thrown out of school.

INT: And were… Your brother as well, did he have to leave as well?

FL: Pardon?

INT: Your younger brother, your brother, did he have to leave as well?


INT: Two brothers.

INT: Oh two brothers.

FL: They were killed in the camp.

INT: Were they older than you?

FL: Younger.

INT: Younger.

FL: Never saw them again. They disappeared. And my mother and my father was the same. Really, in a way, it’s been quite a tragic life. And then when I met anyone and they said they loved me I was quite taken in, and I was taken in.

FL: I didn’t mix with Jewish people at the time because where I lived at the time it…

INT: There weren’t any.

FL: I don’t know how it all came about.

Listen to the testimony

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