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  • 'God owes us an explanation' - Holocaust survivor Tova Friedman
    'God owes us an explanation' - Holocaust survivor Tova Friedman
  • Nurturing Hope From Great Adversity w/ Tova Friedman
    Nurturing Hope From Great Adversity w/ Tova Friedman
  • Surviving Auschwitz's Gas Chamber, Starvation & The infirmary | Holocaust Survivor Tova Friedman
    Surviving Auschwitz's Gas Chamber, Starvation & The infirmary | Holocaust Survivor Tova Friedman
  • Author Talk  Daughter of Auschwitz with Tova Friedman
    Author Talk Daughter of Auschwitz with Tova Friedman
  • The Spark - featuring Tova Friedman, Holocaust survivor
    The Spark - featuring Tova Friedman, Holocaust survivor
  • Surviving Auschwitz: Children Of The Shoah
    Surviving Auschwitz: Children Of The Shoah
  • Tova Friedman: Kinderlager: Reflections of a Child Holocaust Survivor
    Tova Friedman: Kinderlager: Reflections of a Child Holocaust Survivor
  • Holocaust Survivor speaks to students at Woodrow Wilson Middle School
    Holocaust Survivor speaks to students at Woodrow Wilson Middle School
  • Auschwitz survivor: 'I lost almost my entire family'
    Auschwitz survivor: 'I lost almost my entire family'
  • A  Conversation with Tova Friedman - Holocaust Survivor
    A Conversation with Tova Friedman - Holocaust Survivor

Learn More About Tova Friedman

“I speak as a witness for the 1.5 million children who were murdered. I don’t want them to be forgotten. ‘Remember us.’ Those were their last words. ‘Remember us.’ And that’s what I’m trying to do.”

               – Tova Friedman, New York Times Bestselling Author of “The Daughter of Auschwitz”

In the digital age, we have access to more information than ever before – but somehow, knowledge of the horrors of the Holocaust is slowly eroding.

Shockingly, a 2020 survey measuring Holocaust awareness in the U.S. found that roughly two-thirds of those surveyed didn’t know how many Jewish people had died. Even among younger people, education on the topic is lacking – 48% of the 18-to-40-year-olds surveyed could not name one concentration camp or ghetto. How can we ensure these memories are passed on before they are lost to history?

Tova Friedman, clinical therapist and social worker with the Jewish Family Center of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren Counties in New Jersey, is one of the youngest living survivors of the Holocaust. An evocative and poignant speaker, she shares her vivid tale of resilience to speak out against intolerance in a time of rising anti-Semitism. Just five years old when she was taken to Auschwitz, and one of only five of the hundreds of Jewish children from her hometown to survive the war, she credits her miraculous survival to a lot of luck and her mother’s commitment to a relentless honesty about what was happening to them.

A captivating and powerful storyteller, one of Friedman’s central messages is that prejudice coupled with violence destroy both the victim and the victor. She immortalizes what she saw and learned as a child in a concentration camp in her instant New York Times bestseller, “The Daughter of Auschwitz: My Story of Resilience, Survival and Hope” (Hanover, September 2022), co-written by Malcolm Brabant, an award-winning PBS Newshour special correspondent and former BBC war reporter. With a foreword by Sir Ben Kingsley, it has received stellar reviews, with author Jeremy Bowen calling it a “deeply moving story.”

Unique in a sea of other Holocaust memoirs, Friedman retains her child’s eye to relate the small moments of kindness, anywhere they existed, among those who tried in their own little ways to resist or to remind each other of shared humanity. Now a trained therapist with her master’s in social work, gerontology and counseling, Friedman uses the teachings of famed psychologist and fellow Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl to communicate how one can find spiritual meaning by helping others. It also helps us recognize our own inner strength.

“Humanity often faces extraordinarily difficult challenges that seem to be never-ending. But I believe we are all born with natural resilience,” she encourages. “The ability to overcome is within each and every one of us.”

Securing the Future by Honoring the Past

Remembering is important to Friedman, and she feels her legacy must speak for those who cannot. In her talks, she pays close attention to every audience, creating an experience unlike any other. Urging listeners to explore their own heritages, she invites them to reignite ties with family and community – a message that has continued to resonate on social media. Now in her eighties, Friedman has embraced digital platforms to pass on the cultural memory to over 500,000 TikTok followers who have liked her videos more than nine million times. Gifted with an astonishing power of recall, she relates the harsh lessons she learned before most of us had even started school to call attention to the early warning signs of genocide that are happening today.

Her unforgettable story is one of unspeakable suffering and loss, but also of inspiration, uniting audiences across generations with gripping examples of extraordinary courage, endurance and hope. An unparalleled speaker who bravely answers any question from curious audiences of all ages, her emotional first-hand account of growing up as both a survivor and a child of a survivor ensures that the voices of those lost to the Holocaust will echo on for decades to come.

The world may solemnly declare “Never forget” in reference to the Holocaust, but true remembrance goes beyond recollection. In Friedman’s view, for the memory of those lost to truly endure, we must honor them by recognizing and confronting systemic issues. When asked why she published her memoir so late in life, Friedman’s eyes fill with fire as she explains how global current events – from the January 6, 2020 riots in the United States to stunningly anti-Semitic comments by public entertainment figures – combine to serve as potential warning signs of genocide.

“The Holocaust didn’t happen in one day,” reminds Friedman. “It had time to get worse and worse, and – you know the saying? First, they burn books, and then they burn people. It’s a warning. Hitler rose, and people didn’t believe what could happen. We need to believe it.”

Though Friedman has faced unimaginable difficulties, she remains steadfast in her commitment to sharing the lessons of the Holocaust.

“Hatred is one of the fastest-growing phenomena today. Hate of every kind, especially toward minorities,” she concludes. “Wherever you are in the world, I implore you, do not repeat the history to which I was subjected.”

# # #

Tova Friedman is one of the youngest living survivors of Auschwitz and the New York Times bestselling author of “The Daughter of Auschwitz: My Story of Resilience, Survival and Hope.” With a foreword by Sir Ben Kingsley, the “heartrending, lyrical” and “absolutely riveting” book describes Friedman’s early life in a Jewish ghetto in Central Poland, the six months she spent with her mother incarcerated in Auschwitz-Birkenau, their eventual reunion with her father and her life following the war.

Friedman previously taught at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Her commitment to community continues as she serves on the board at the Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Raritan Valley Community College and as a therapist at the Jewish Family Service of Somerset, Hunterdon and Warren counties.

Her unforgettable story of survival and resilience has been featured on CNN’s Amanpour, NPR’s Book of the Day, PBS Newshour, the BBC and many other high-profile and local outlets.

Friedman holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Brooklyn College, a Master of Arts in Black literature from the City College of New York and a Master of Arts in social work, gerontology and counseling from Rutgers University. She has four children and eight grandchildren.

Tova Friedman is available to advise your organization via virtual and in-person consulting meetings, interactive workshops, and customized keynotes through the exclusive representation of Stern Speakers & Advisors, a division of Stern Strategy Group®.

Tova Friedman was last modified: April 24th, 2024 by Justin Louis

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Overcoming Adversity: Lessons of Resilience and Hope from a Child of the Holocaust

When Tova Friedman was only six years old, her mother whispered, “Remember,” as they walked hand-in-hand out of the gate of Auschwitz. Now, over eighty years later, Friedman is sharing what her remarkable experience as one of the youngest living survivors of the Holocaust taught her about intolerance, prejudice and humanity’s ability to overcome. Author of the instant New York Times bestseller, “The Daughter of Auschwitz: My Story of Resilience, Survival and Hope” (2022), Friedman remembers and speaks for the over six million Jewish people murdered by Nazis during the war. A captivating and powerful storyteller, she pays close attention to every audience when she speaks to create an experience unlike any other, delivering evocative and poignant talks that create a lasting and meaningful emotional connection to the facts of this terrible time period. She urges listeners to explore their own heritages, inviting them to reignite ties with family and community – a message that resonates with over half a million followers on TikTok, where Friedman’s videos now have over 9 million likes. An unparalleled speaker who bravely answers any question from curious audiences of all ages, her emotional first-hand account of growing up as both a survivor and a child of a survivor ensures that the voices of those lost to the Holocaust will echo for decades to come.

Sounding the Alarm: The Urgent Need to Recognize the Warning Signs of Genocide

The lasting effects of the Holocaust still ripple across generations, but true remembrance requires more than moments of silence. To truly honor the memory of those lost, we must listen to the warning signs of hatred and bigotry and act before history repeats itself. According to Tova Friedman, one of the youngest living survivors of Auschwitz, we must recognize and confront the systemic issues that led to the tragedy, and remain vigilant against them so the world will never again be plunged into such darkness. The New York Times bestselling author of “The Daughter of Auschwitz: My Story of Resilience, Survival and Hope” (2022), Friedman has partnered with her grandson to use social media to teach a new generation about the dangers of prejudice and anti-Semitism. Her videos, sprinkled with references to current events like the January 6, 2020 riots in the United States and stunningly anti-Semitic comments made by public entertainment figures, help anyone see how these events can combine to serve as potential warning signs of genocide. Unforgettable, powerful and moving, Friedman uses both examples of astonishing acts of hatred and intolerance and astounding deeds of kindness to instill audiences of all ages with the necessary outrage and empathy required to prevent future genocides.

Praise for "The Daughter of Auschwitz"

“I read this book with gratitude and urgency. Gratitude for the courage Tova Friedman has shown in deciding to share her story. We are all the beneficiaries of such powerful witness. The urgency comes from the knowledge that as time marches on such vivid voices are becoming increasingly rare. Read this book, cherish the lessons. It is a book rooted in the terrible events of another time, but the truths it reveals are eternal.”

Fergal Keane, Author, “Wounds: A Memoir of War & Love”

“One of the youngest survivors of Auschwitz-Birkenau tells her remarkable story… A heartbreaking yet ultimately redemptive account from the 20th century’s darkest days.”

Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

"An unforgettable and deeply moving story. Malcolm Brabant brilliantly evokes the world of the ghetto and of Auschwitz through the eyes of Tova Friedman, a small child who survived the brutality of the Holocaust."

Jeremey Bowen, Author, “Six Days: How the 1967 War Shaped the Middle East”

“[A] heartrending, lyrical account of a young girl’s survival during the Holocaust."

Reader's Entertainment Magazine

"Absolutely riveting book. Please read it."

Judy Woodruff, Lead Presenter and Managing Editor , “PBS Newshour”

“This is the real thing, the horrors of the Holocaust brought shudderingly to life, and all from the point of view of a small child who could barely read or recognize numbers… It is an angry book, but it is also required reading.”

The Jewish Chronicle

"Possibly the most astonishing book I've ever read."

Sarah Gorrell, BBC Radio Sussex