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Remembering the Holocaust: Father of AFGE Employee Shares Memories

Gideon Frieder, father of AFGE’s  Assistant General Counsel Goni
Frieder-Goldberg, spoke Tuesday as part of the United States Holocaust Memorial
Museum’s First Person program, in which Holocaust survivors publicly share
their personal experiences of the Holocaust at the Museum. This program offers
visitors a unique opportunity to hear a first person account of the atrocities
of Nazism and the Holocaust, and to apply the lessons of the Museum to current
affairs.

Mr. Frieder, born in Zvolen, Slovakia in 1937, forced to flee his home multiple times, fled first to Nove Mesto, where his father’s position as a prominent Rabbi afforded, for a time at least, a certain amount of security. Although his father was forced to leave separately, Mr. Frieder and the rest of his family fled to Banska Bystrica, where his mother and sister were murdered during the Stare Hory massacre. Mr. Frieder was taken by Henry Herzog, a Jewish partisan, to the village of Bully where he remained until the area was liberated by Romanian troops that fought as part of the Red Army.  Remarkably, he was able to reconcile with his father, who survived the war. Mr.Frieder then immigrated to Israel, where he remained until 1975 before moving to the United States. Mr. Frieder holds the A. James Clark Chair of Engineering and Applied Science at the George Washington University in Washington DC.

At the event, Mr. Frieder recounted personal stories of life before the war, the time he spent hiding in the mountains, as well as his time living in disguise in the village of Bully. He urged the audience to not allow
the world to make the same mistake of appeasing fascists again, warning of
Islamist extremist groups whose stated goal  is to murder not only Jews, but Americans and
all who believe in Western, modern values. He pointed out that both the Nazis and Islamist extremists have explicitly and publicly, without apology, stated their intentions, and that it would be a terrible and dangerous decision to ignore such warnings,particularly since we have seen what can happen.

The program is moderated by journalist Bill Benson, and is
held every Tuesday and Wednesday through July, and every Wednesday in August.

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