Frieda speaks with love and pride about her children. She mentions the terrible fate of her parents and brothers and the fact that, although her life was hard, it could have been much worse.

INT: I still never found out what age you were though, Frieda.

FL: Pardon?

INT: I still never found out what age you were.

FL: I was…

INT: What age you are just now.

FL: Oh well you’ll see it; you don’t need to find out. I’m beginning to age quite a lot now.

INT: Why don’t you tell, Frieda, what birthday you celebrated last Thursday? Tell her what age you were on your birthday.


FL: 92.

INT: Honestly you do not look 92. [The interview took place in 2013]

FL: Och, away, don’t flatter me.

INT: No, do you know why? It’s because you have a lovely complexion.

FL: Aye well, I just looked at myself the other day. I never look a lot in the mirror, and it’s a funny thing - I’m getting wrinkles on the one side and not on the other side, how’s that?

INT: I don’t know.

FL: But, well I don’t grudge my children because they’re good, nice children.


INT: Absolutely.

INT: So you’ve got a daughter called Frieda.

FL: Two daughters, Janet and Frieda.

INT: Oh right. OK

FL: And my sons, George, and Bobby and they’re all lovely children, thank God, and they’re all doing well. They’re all working hard. There’s none of them doctors or lawyers or anything but they’re doing all right.

INT: They’re a credit to you, yes.


FL: Well I tried my best but my life hasn’t been easy. But it could have been a lot worse, if I had been in a concentration camp, but lucky to escape that. When I think what my poor parents and my brothers came through, makes me very sad. I don’t know how people can be so cruel. I wouldn’t go a holiday over there now if you gave me a million dollars.

And I don’t know how I ever married George Thomson… Because she came from Germany and I don’t know what it was. And I wasn’t pregnant at the time.

INT: Maybe just because of the Germany, that still reminded you a wee bit.


FL: He went after me and after me. I couldn’t get peace from him. I worked up in Burnside and he came up there and I think that’s what it was. And he said; “I’ll make a nice home for you, you know. I’m a joiner I can do a lot of things and make it really lovely”. He was very persuasive.

INT: And as Frieda [Myrna] said, you were a very pretty girl as well.

FL: Pardon?

INT: You were a very pretty girl as well and I think he obviously really liked you.

FL: Maybe that’s all, he did, right enough, I think. He quite cared for me in his own way, until he had a drink. In the drink he was even worse; he was even more caring and I hated it. You know what like men are when they have a drink.

Listen to the testimony

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