Cambridge’s Annual Commemoration of the Holocaust

Top Pick May 2, 2019 Cambridge Free
(Photo: SandraMatic/iStock)
(Photo: SandraMatic/iStock)

Recalling all who perished during the Holocaust, this year’s program features an evening of music, candle lighting and remembrance.

Our speaker will be Cambridge resident and Holocaust survivor Frieda Grayzel.

Music will be provided by cellist Cherry Kim, the Cambridge Community Chorus, the Cambridge Rindge & Latin Vocal Ensemble and A Besere Velt: The Yiddish Chorus of Boston Workmen’s Circle.

The program is free, open to all, and wheelchair accessible. It welcomes all communities of Cambridge, including children and adults and people of all faiths and traditions.

For more information, contact the Cambridge Peace Commission at, 617-349-4694 or

About our speaker:

Frieda Grayzel is a child survivor of the Holocaust, born in Tomaszów Mazowiecki in central Poland. Her parents, Anna and Josef Tenenbaum, were working-class, self-educated modern Jews. When Germany invaded Poland on Sept. 1, 1939, 5-year-old Frieda and her parents fled to relatives in Warsaw as Anna was pregnant and Josef hoped Warsaw would be safer. Frieda’s sister, Dorka, was born in Warsaw on Sept. 7, 1939. The family went through the terrible conditions of a city under constant bombardment and returned home when Polish resistance was broken after 27 days.

Frieda and her family endured the ghetto, where in 1942 Frieda’s close, beloved, extended family, including her grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins were sent to their death in Treblinka extermination camp. Next was the Bliżyn labor camp, where Frieda’s sister was taken away and murdered, and her father was sent to an unknown fate.

Frieda and her mother incredibly survived seven months in Auschwitz-Birkenau, and her father survived six concentration camps. They were reunited in July 1945 in their hometown. In April 1946 they were smuggled out of Poland, which did not permit emigration under the communist regime. The family spent three years in various displaced persons camps in the American Zone of occupied Germany. In 1949, having been sponsored by American relatives, they arrived in the U.S. and settled in New York.

Finding that she loved art and archaeology, Frieda studied at Queens College and Columbia University, won a museum training fellowship at the Brooklyn Museum, and ran the Heckscher Museum in Huntington, Long Island. She married and moved to Cambridge, where she attended graduate school at Harvard and raised a family. Frieda earned an MSW degree at Simmons and worked as a psychotherapist, as well as earning a certificate in behavioral medicine at Cambridge Hospital from the Harvard Medical School Department of Psychiatry.

Frieda published her story of survival with two other child survivors from her hometown in “Surviving Auschwitz,” edited by Milt Nieuwsma, which became the basis of a documentary by the same name produced by WGVU Public Television in Grand Rapids, MI.

In 1983, after a year and a half of searching for other child survivors in the Boston area, Frieda founded the first self-support group for child survivors, which then spread through the U.S. and internationally. Those groups created the World Federation of Child Survivors of the Holocaust, which holds annual conferences in the U.S. and internationally.

Today, as the child survivors age, the groups now welcome second-, third- and fourth-generation members.

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Fact Sheet
Thursday, May 2, 2019, 7:00 pm - 9:15 pm
Temple Beth Shalom
8 Tremont St
Cambridge, MA 02139

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