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Google Doodle celebrates German-Jewish athlete Fredy Hirsch’s 105th birthday

Google animated Doodle celebrates the 105th birthday of a German-Jewish athlete, sports teacher Fredy Hirsch, Zionist youth movement leader who famous for aiding a great many Jewish children during the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in Prague, Theresienstadt concentration camp, and Auschwitz, on Feb 11th, 2021.

Who was Fredy Hirsch?

Fredy Hirsch
Fredy Hirsch

Fredy Hirsch was born on February 11, 1916, in Aachen Germany to Heinrich and Olga Hirsch. Hirsch was the deputy supervisor of children at Theresienstadt and the supervisor of the children’s block at the Theresienstadt family camp at Auschwitz II-Birkenau.

At the age of ten years, Fredy Hirsch’s father died and his mom later remarried. At the point when Hitler came to power, Fredy’s mom, stepfather and sibling moved to Bolivia, however Fredy remained behind to proceed with the work he had started with children.

In 1935, the Nuremburg Laws were enacted and Hirsch escaped to Czechoslovakia at 19 years old. There he was active in the Maccabi Hatzair youth movement and the Zionist Hehalutz association, running summer camps and assisting with planning youthful Jews to make aliyah to British Mandatory Palestine.

In October 1939, in the wake of having moved to Prague, Fredy Hirsch helped a group of children he had been working with goes to Denmark for pre-aliyah training. They later went to Palestine.

Following the Nazi victory of Czechoslovakia in March 1939, severe limitations were put on the nation’s Jews. Regardless of this, Hirsch proceeded with his work with children, arranging sports activities, camping trips, and study groups.

Fredy Hirsch was one of the first Jews to be moved to Theresienstadt concentration camp on 4 December 1941, where he assisted with developing the concentration camp.

In December 1941, Fredy Hirsch was shipped off Theresienstadt and became the deputy to Egon (Gonda) Redlich, the head of the ghetto youth department. Hirsch ensured the kids kept up their hygiene, helped them proceed with their studies, played games, and put on performances.

Fredy Hirsch developed associations with the Germans, which permitted him to secure the release of certain children from transports. At the point when a group of 1,200 children from the recently liquidated Bialystok ghetto showed up in August 1943, Hirsch went to see them in disobedience of German orders to stay away.

Fredy Hirsch was caught and his associations didn’t keep him from being shipped off Auschwitz-Birkenau in a transport alongside 5,006 others preceding the visit of agents from the International Red Cross.

Not at all like most appearances to Auschwitz, Fredy Hirsch’s group didn’t need to experience the selection process and was rather moved to a recently built “family camp” (BIIb). They additionally didn’t need to wear uniforms or have their heads shaved.

People were permitted to associate and the group was permitted to get packages from family members. Hirsch took responsibility for the 274 children under 14 years old from his transport, and another 353 who came later.

The children laid down with their moms, fathers or advocates and during the day, were brought to a building Hirsch established the SS to save for them. The children’s block was under the supervision of Josef Mengele.

Fredy Hirsch once again coordinated classes, scout activities, plays, and physical fitness courses. Two artists drew lively pictures that were put on the walls. He disallowed advisors from discussing the gas chambers and crematoria and his emphasis on keeping up hygiene was critical to the survival of children, particularly as grown-ups began to die from the disease. Hirsch again made friends with guards who permitted the children to get better food and to remain inside for twice-daily roll calls.

The detainees were unconscious they had been decided for “special treatment,” which means they were to be gassed following a half year instead of right away. They had heard bits of gossip already that the Germans planned to kill the individuals in the family camp, however, the Nazis kept up the deception that they were to be moved to a labor camp.

Instead, on March 7, 1944, everybody from the Theresienstadt transport who was not in the hospital was moved to a detention camp. On March 8, 1944, precisely a half year after their appearance, 3,792 detainees were killed in the gas chambers. Afterward, around 3,500 people sufficiently healthy to work were moved to labor camps. The 6,500 who stayed behind were murdered in July 1944.

Because of Fredy Hirsch’s German extraction, charisma, and careful appearance, he had the option to persuade SS gatekeepers to grant rights to the children, including exclusions from removal and additional rations, which saved their lives at least temporarily.

Fredy Hirsch and his collaborators kept up clandestine education under the troublesome conditions. Hirsch’s emphasis on exercise, discipline, and strict hygiene diminished death rates among the kids.

The family camp was expected to be liquidated on 8 March 1944; Hirsch’s popularity made him a natural leader for an uprising. As per a few records, he committed suicide in order not to have to witness the deaths of his charges; then again, he was poisoned by Jewish doctors who might have been murdered in an uprising had broken out.

Fredy Hirsch’s fate thereafter is a mystery. The most well-known theory is that he committed suicide by taking Luminal pills, yet one survivor said he died of an overdose of the drug given to him by Jewish doctors.

In 1996, a memorial with Fredy Hirsch’s face carved in stone was placed on the wall of the school building in Theresienstadt.

On February 11, 2016, in commemoration of Hirsch’s 100th birthday celebration, the secondary school he went to in Aachen renamed its gymnasium and cafeteria in his honor. Today, these buildings remain as testaments of his strong soul and carry forward his legacy of improving the lives of youngsters.

Hirsch was the subject of the 2016 documentary Heaven in Auschwitz, which highlighted the records of thirteen survivors of Theresienstadt and Auschwitz. He was additionally featured in the 2017 Israeli documentary “Dear Fredy” by Rubi Gat.

On February 11, 2021, Google observed Fredy Hirsch’s 105th Birthday with a Google Doodle.

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