Royal sculptor Frances Segelman creates bust of survivor Freddie Knoller
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Royal sculptor Frances Segelman creates bust of survivor Freddie Knoller

'It was very exciting to be sculpted by Frances, she is a fantastic artist and has created an amazing sculpture of me,' 98-year-old survivor reveals

Frances Segelman at Jewish Care's Selig Court sculpting Freddie Knoller (Credit: Sophie Dunne)
Frances Segelman at Jewish Care's Selig Court sculpting Freddie Knoller (Credit: Sophie Dunne)

Royal sculptor Frances Segelman has created a clay bust of 98-year-old Holocaust survivor and former resistance fighter Freddie Knoller. 

Segelman, 71, known for her sculptures of survivors, royals and celebrities, created the life-size clay bust of Knoller during a live sitting in front of an audience last week.

She created the bust of Knoller, to be cast into bronze at a London foundry, during a two-hour live session at Jewish Care’s independent living facility Selig Court. Segelman was joined by her daughter Victoria Perloff, who painted a portrait of Knoller presented to him on the day.

The artist’s granddaughter Pearl Harris, with her mum Victoria, survivor Freddie Knoller, his daughter Susie, his grandson Nadav, Frances Segelman,

Fleeing Vienna in 1938 during the Anschluss, Knoller was interned in a refugee camp in Belgium and later escaped to France, where he joined a cell of resistance fighters in the southern town of Figeac. Arrested in 1943, he was deported to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

In 1945, he was sent on a 31-mile death march and deported to Bergen-Belsen, where he remained until his liberation.

Knoller, who has shared his testimony with children in over 380 schools in the UK since 2002, received a British Empire Medal in 2016 at the age of 94.

“Although I have had many photos taken of me I have never been sculpted before. It was very exciting to be sculpted by Frances. She is a fantastic artist and has created an amazing sculpture of me. Thank you, Frances,” he said.

Segelman said it had been “a great privilege” to sculpt Knoller. “These important art events help future generations learn from the Holocaust so that it never happens again,” she added.

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