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Henry Friedman was born to a Jewish family in Brody, Poland (present-day Ukraine). In 1941, his childhood ended when the Nazis arrived in his hometown during World War II. The Jews were rounded up and moved to a Ghetto, from which they would be sent to forced labor camps or the death camps. Warned by Julia Symchuk, a young Ukrainian Christian, the Friedman family fled the town in 1942. Henry and his mother, younger brother and a female schoolteacher were allowed to hide in the loft of a barn owned by the Symchuks in the village of Suchowola. His father found a similar hiding place with another acquaintance half a mile away. In March 1944, after the Red Army liberated the village, Henry at age 15 was emaciated and too weak to walk. The Friedmans returned to Brody, where they learned they were the only Jewish family that had survived. They made their way to a displaced persons camp in Austria and then in 1949, emigrated to the USA, settling in Seattle. Henry was drafted by the U.S. Army and served in the Korean War. He married and raised a family; when his children began to ask about his past, he said he couldn’t talk to them about it. Instead, he talked to a tape recorder, eventually producing his memoir, I’m No Hero: Journeys of a Holocaust Survivor (1999). He eventually became a public speaker and a founder of the Washington State Holocaust Education Resource Center.
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