For several decades Trude Simonsohn, who lives in Frankfurt, has been visiting schools, institutions and cultural societies to give talks about her life, during which she was witness to the great political upheavals of the twentieth century. Born in Olmütz (Moravia) in 1921, she was raised bilingually and visited the German grammar-school. However, following the invasion of the German army and the annexation of Czechoslovakia, she was refused the right to receive vocational training because she was Jewish. She lost her father in the Dachau concentration camp, her mother in Auschwitz. She herself became committed to Jewish youth work and to preparing the migration of German and Czech Jews to Palestine. In 1942, following the assassination of Heydrich, she was accused of high treason and placed in solitary confinement, then taken to the ghetto in Theresienstadt and to various concentration camps before she was finally freed from the Merzdorf concentration camp near Groß-Rosen in May 1945.
After 1945 she was involved in Jewish refugee work in Switzerland, trained as a nurse and took care of traumatized children who were suffering from tuberculosis and had become orphans as a result of the holocaust.
In 1955 she moved to Frankfurt am Main, where she ran the centre for social work and educational guidance in the Jewish community. She was community president from 1989-1992. In 1993 she was awarded the Badge of Honour of the City of Frankfurt, in 1996 the Wilhelm Leuschner Medal of the Federal State of Hessen; in 2010 she received the Ignaz Bubis Prize for Understanding.
At the age of 90, Trude Simonsohn wrote down the memoirs of her eventful life with the help of the social scientist Elisabeth Abendroth.
Memoirs of the ›survivor‹ Trude Simonsohn, who is 90 years old today.
A retrospective, a review of the present and a view to the future.