Questions I Am Asked about the Holocaust: Young Reader's Edition
A young readers' edition of the bestselling book from Auschwitz survivor Hédi Fried that answers lasting questions about the Holocaust.
Hédi Fried was nineteen when the Nazis arrested her family and transported them to Auschwitz. While there, apart from enduring the daily horrors at the concentration camp, she and her sister were forced into hard labor before being released at the end of the war.
After settling in Sweden, Hédi devoted her life to educating young people about the Holocaust. In her 90s, she decided to take the most common questions, and her answers, and turn them into a book so that children all over the world could understand what had happened.
This is a deeply human book that urges us never to forget and never to repeat.
"Timeless lessons taught with simple eloquence."
- The perfect conversation starter for educators to teach young people about the reality of the Holocaust from lived experience.
- Wonderful companion piece to Art Speigelman's Maus.
- In the wake of recent reports that a shocking proportion of young people in the US know little to nothing about the Holocaust, alongside a concerning new wave of antisemitism in the US and Europe, this deeply personal first-hand account is especially timely.
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About the Author
Hédi Fried (1924-2022) was an author and psychologist. She was deeply committed to working for democratic values and against racism. She was born in the town of Sighet, in Romania, was transported to Auschwitz in 1944, and worked in several labour camps, eventually ending up in Bergen-Belsen. After liberation, she moved to Sweden with her sister.
Her bestselling autobiography, Fragments of a Life: the road to Auschwitz, was published in English and Swedish in the 1990s.
Laila Ekboir graduated from the University of Southern California in 2010, with a BA in English Literature. With her degree in hand, she returned to her home country, Argentina, where she took a workshop on picture book illustration. She knew at once that she'd found her passion in illustration because it combined her love of words and storytelling with the joy of creating art and visual communication.
Alice E. Olsson is a literary translator, writer, and editor working across Swedish and English. She has served as the Cultural Affairs Adviser at the Embassy of Sweden in London and is the recipient of a fellowship as well as multiple grants from the Swedish Arts Council. In 2020, she was shortlisted for the Peirene Stevns Translation Prize. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Comparative Literature at University College London, specializing in literature and human rights.
"Something like what Anne Frank might have written had she survived ... Timeless lessons taught with simple eloquence."
"While many authors have produced great works about the Holocaust, this sort of first-person narrative is the best source of true information. Every library should add this book to its collection. Social studies teachers would find this a highly valuable source for discussions on the Holocaust (Fried herself even provides a list of discussion questions in the text). I highly recommend the purchase of this book."
--School Library Connection
"This is terrific in that I was utterly engrossed in not only what questions are asked of Hedi but the astute and depthful way she answers them. I began to read the other evening and went all the way to the end before putting this book down. It's also potent in the ways our author touches on current issues with how we treat 'others' as to how we become divided and in worst case hurtful to those unlike ourselves. a big thumbs up and NOT just for the younger generation!"
--Sheryl Cotleur, Copperfield's Books
"Through questions she has been asked most, Questions I Am Asked About The Holocaust is a stoically raw and deeply human account of the author's experiences throughout the Holocaust and surviving Auschwitz. An important, wise, and extremely powerful book."
--Amanda Zirn Hudson, Bethany Beach Books
"While Questions I Am Asked About the Holocaust is very easy to read, the questions it raises are very hard to answer. Fried, in simple, straightforward prose, answers questions that children have asked her about her experiences. A must-have for parents, but be prepared to answer some hard questions yourself."
--Lee Virden Geurkink, Monkey and Dog Books
"Fried, who has written a memoir about her imprisonment at Auschwitz, has complied a book with answers to some of the most common questions posed to her by students she meets during her visits with schools to inform and educate people about the horrors she and millions of others faced at the hands of the Nazis. The questions are often simple, as children's questions often are, but Fried's answers are anything but as she describes how insidious evil is and how easily the masses are fooled into falling for the lies and prejudices of a government looking for a scapegoat. Fried's words are especially important in the growing age of nationalism and ignorance. A book that belongs in every library, school and public in the country and one that should be required reading for our elected officials."
--Rosemary Smith, Williams Library, Oakland, Maine
"It is the telling detail that gives her testimony its particular power...This little book, with its reminder "there are no stupid questions, nor any forbidden ones, but there are some...that have no answer", is a moving record of one woman's experience."
--Nick Rennison, The Sunday Times
"Fried was 19 when she and her family were sent from Hungary to Auschwitz. Her parents were murdered, but she and her sister survived. They both made a home in Sweden and, ever since, Fried, now 94, has talked to students about her experiences. This slim but powerful volume, sensitively translated by Alice Olsson, comprises answers to the questions she is most frequently asked, such as: "Why did you not fight back?" and "What helped you to survive?", "Are you able to forgive?" Fried answers with humanity, candor and thoughtfulness in a book that should be required reading for all young people."
--Hannah Beckerman, The Guardian
"[S]ince these questions come from children, they quickly reach a level of intimacy that most adults would be afraid to venture into...Questions I Am Asked About the Holocaust is a collection of Hédi's gentle, honest answers to these questions over the years. With sensitivity and complete candor, Fried answers these questions and more in this deeply human book that urges us never to forget and never to repeat."
--The Jewish Standard, Ontario
"A must read. I do not compare directly to The Diary of Anne Frank ... however it is a similarly powerful read. Hedi Fried gives an eyewitness and direct account of her experiences during the Holocaust. She uses a Q&A from the most frequently asked questions she has received over the years and nothing is off limits. Her quest is to educate so that generations to come do not hate. I was completely enthralled by the story and the illustrations (Laila Ekboir)."
--Linda Bakersmith, The Novel Neighbor
"Now 94, Fried's largeness of spirit emanates from every considered response to even the most confronting questions asked of her. One senses that her replies are not only educative but therapeutic, especially for young people grappling with their own questions about the meaning of life. While most of her experiences of this period are inescapably dark, there were moments of light that assumed enormous significance."
--Fiona Capp, The Saturday Age
"Hédi Fried is a remarkable woman and her writing offers important insights into truly terrible events and the slow, insidious way in which hatred can be fostered. Questions I Am Asked About the Holocaust is an easy to read account of things that are almost too horrible to comprehend. The essays represent an individual's reflections on matters that touch the whole of humanity and, as Fried hopes, the lessons she has to teach about the past should serve as a warning for the future." FIVE STARS
--Erin Britton, New Books Magazine
"It's the straightforwardness of the book--and the fact that Fried is so candid in her answers--that makes this book so important."
--Shelly Gare, The Sydney Institute
"Anyone who can remember that time, anyone who can remember someone who could remember, or anyone who feels the instinctive urge to be one with the humanity of memory, and the memory of humanity, cannot but be moved deeply and quite actively by Fried's book."
"Candid and unflinching, deeply personal and sensitive, this is the perfect book for anyone, young or old, wanting to learn more about the Holocaust and why we must never forget-especially as the last surviving witnesses are lost to us."
--Leanne Edimistone, Courier Mail
Praise for The Road to Auschwitz:
"Fried's tale is not solely one of suffering. She is a survivor, and this is a testimony to the ingenuity and luck that contributed to her survival and that of her sister and friends. As Fried reminds us: 'We must tell of this inhuman thing that was done in the twentieth century. It must not be forgotten.'"
"[Fried's] grim struggle to survive death and labor camps and the start of her brave efforts to create a meaningful life in Sweden are recounted with vivid and deeply moving simplicity."