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The articles in this issue have been divided up into the following categories







Desperate Journey

by Freddie Knoller and John Landaw

Published by Metro Publishing Ltd
ISBN 1-84358-028-4 Price: £17.99

Freddie Knoller was an ordinary Viennese schoolboy when, on the 9th November 1938, a hurried telephone call from a friend warned his family. “The Polnische Tempel is on fire!” Soon his apartment building was full of Brownshirts. There was a scream and a neighbour plunged to his death in the courtyard below. From that night Freddie’s life, like the life of every other Jew, changed forever.

David and Marja Knoller made arrangements for their three sons to leave Austria. Freddie, a mother’s boy, fled the advancing German invasion and began a journey which was to lead him from Vienna to Belgium to Vichy France, and from there back into danger because, in an act of foolhardiness inexplicable even to himself, and with only a badly forged set of papers, he journeyed to Paris, the city of his dreams but now under occupation.

But somehow, the naïve schoolboy not only survived in occupied Paris – he flourished. Passing himself off as a loyal Aryan from Alsace, he lived by escorting Nazi soldiers around the red-light district, growing in confidence as he pocketed commissions, wheeling and dealing.

Finally, Freddie’s luck ran out. Following a brush with the Gestapo, he left Paris and joined the Resistance but was eventually arrested.

He survived Auschwitz and the Death March and endured several months in Dora-Nordhausen before being liberated from Belsen in April 1945, two days before his twenty-fourth birthday. He was later reunited with his brothers.

Both Freddie’s parents perished.

The adventures of Freddie Knoller was published in brief in The Scribe issue No. 72 of September 1999 (see article). Apparently, this acted as an incentive to publish the full story of what he went through in the seven years from 1938 to 1945.


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