Freddy Schumer

As Interviewed by Aytahn Benavi, February 2015
"It started with the curfews imposed on Jews -- we were obliged to wear stars. I wasn’t worried about having to wear a star; we just had to. There was no choice."
Freddy Schumer

Introductory Profile: About Freddy Schumer

I interviewed Freddy Schumer. Before this project, I knew him as my friend’s grandfather. I was thinking about people to interview, and he came to mind because his story is so captivating and interesting. He was born in Leipzig, Germany, and lived through the Holocaust in hiding as a child. Today, he lives in Brazil. He is married and has two children. He is an older man with a heavy accent that is rather difficult to place. He is very relaxed, kind, and open.

In my interview with Freddy, we talked about his experience growing up in a time of tension and living much of his childhood in hiding. We spent a lot of time talking about the events leading up to running away from home and his experiences in hiding. The tone of the interview was light and open. He did not seem to have extremely dark or frightening memories of the events, but simply that life went on, as difficult as it was. His emotional “detachment” made it very easy to get detailed answers. He was very open and unafraid to delve into his past. He actually seemed to enjoy talking about his memories of that time. Overall, I think this was a very unique experience with a very interesting man. Few stories are as captivating and as interesting and unique as his.