Holocaust survivor marks 70 years of marriage: ‘We’re very much still in love’

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Holocaust survivor marks 70 years of marriage: ‘We’re very much still in love’

Freddie Knoller, who turns 100 in April, celebrated the remarkable anniversary with his wife Freda, having tied the knot on New Year's Eve in 1950

Freda and Freddie Knoller (Holocaust Survivors' dinner 2014 / Credit: © Blake Ezra Photography Ltd.)
Freda and Freddie Knoller (Holocaust Survivors' dinner 2014 / Credit: © Blake Ezra Photography Ltd.)

Two married members of Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre in London have celebrated their platinum wedding anniversary, marking 70 years together.

Freddie and Freda Knoller, both members of the centre’s Yiddish group, were still “very much in love,” according to their daughter Susie, as the couple celebrated the special day with their favourite song – Sophie Milman’s ‘Ochi Chernye’.

Holocaust educator Freddie, who turns 100 in April, met Freda, 92, on a blind date after the war and they later married on 31 December 1950 at their rabbi’s house in Maryland, the United States, before moving back to the UK in 1952.

Born in Vienna in 1921, Freddie fled the Nazis but was interned in Belgium until 1940. Trying to enter France, he was arrested on the border, but escaped prison with false papers and joined the French Resistance, before being betrayed by a French girlfriend and arrested again.

Freddie and Freda on their wedding day, New Year’s Eve 1950

He was deported to Auschwitz where he carried 25kg cement bags and survived by befriending a French prisoner who shared food with him. He went on the Death March and was finally taken by cattle truck to Bergen Belsen before being liberated by the British Army in March 1945. He later reunited with his family in America.

Fellow survivor Eve Kugler told the couple: “You’re an inspiration to everyone and to the hundreds of people you’ve told your story to and I wish you many good, happy years together.”

Susie said: “Mum and dad met on a blind date – after one month they were engaged and after two months they were married. It was love at first sight.”

Freddie and Freda in 2020, celebrating their remarkable anniversary


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