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?
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.
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?
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?
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?
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: 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.