There are no stupid questions, nor any forbidden ones, but there are some questions that have no answer.'
Hédi Fried was nineteen when the Nazis snatched her family from their home in Eastern Europe and transported them to Auschwitz, where her parents were murdered and she and her sister were forced into hard labour until the end of the war.
Now ninety-four, she has spent her life educating young people about the Holocaust and answering their questions about one of the darkest periods in human history. Questions like, 'How was it to live in the camps?', 'Did you dream at night?', 'Why did Hitler hate the Jews?', and 'Can you forgive?'.
With sensitivity and complete candour, Fried answers these questions and more in this deeply human book that urges us never to forget and never to repeat.
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Hédi Fried (b. 1924) is an author and psychologist. She is 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 came to Sweden with her sister, and has lived there ever since.
Her bestselling autobiography, Fragments of a Life: the road to Auschwitz, was published in English and Swedish in the 1990s. Alice E. Olsson is a literary translator, writer, and editor working across Swedish and English. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Comparative Literature at University College London, specialising in literature and human rights.
'[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 Hedi's gentle, honest answers to these questions over the years. With sensitivity and complete candour, 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 * '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 * '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 * '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 * '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 * '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, candour and thoughtfulness in a book that should be required reading for all young people.' -- Hannah Beckerman * The Guardian * '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 * '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 * 'Timeless lessons taught with simple eloquence.' * Kirkus * '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.' -- Mika Provata-Carlone * Bookanista * 'Hedi 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 * 'Reminds us all why we need to heed the lessons of the past.' * Big Issue (London) * 'This slim but powerful volume comprises answers to the questions she is most frequently asked ... Fried answers with candour and thoughtfulness in a book that should be required reading for all young people.' -- Hannah Beckerman * The Observer * '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 *
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