Hédi Fried

Hédi Fried (b. 1924) is an author and psychologist. She is deeply committed to working for democratic values and against racism. She was born in the town of Sighet, in Romania, and came to Sweden after the liberation of the concentration camp in Auschwitz.

Her bestselling autobiography The Road to Auschwitz: Fragments of a Life was published in English and Swedish in the 1990s.

Photo: Karl Gabor


Questions I Am Asked about the Holocaust

For over thirty years, Hédi Fried has been travelling to Swedish schools to talk about the Holocaust. The testimony about how her family was deported from her hometown, and how her parents were murdered in Auschwitz, has touched thousands of students. Often it was in the discussions with the students that the Holocaust became most real. It is only by posing these questions that we discover our fundamental sense of humanism. Together, they help make the unimaginable events more understandable. Hédi Fried is one of the few survivors who is still here and can bear witness. In Questions I Am Asked about the Holocaust, Hédi answers some of the questions she has received over the years. Only by continuing to ask the most difficult questions, can we avoid repeating history.

Hédi Fried answers questions like:

What is the worst thing that ever happened to you?
What did it mean to you to have your sister with you in Auschwitz?
Were you hungry all the time?
What helped you to survive?
When did you understand that a genocide was taking place?
Do you think it could happen again? 
After all this, do you still believe in God?

Hédi Fried

Original title:
Frågor jag fått om Förintelsen

January 2017


Original publisher:
Natur & Kultur

Reading material:
Swedish manuscript (final)
English sample

146 pp.

France/Éditions Flammarion
The Netherlands/Atlas Contact
Spain/Plataforma Editorial
Sweden/Natur & Kultur
World English/Scribe

Questions I am Asked About the Holocaust was shortlisted for the August Prize 2017, in the category of Best Swedish Non-Fiction Book of the Year.


“Razor sharp. Hédi Fried’s book about the Holocaust is a future classic.”


Sighetu Marmatiei, the town where Hédi was born, was in the news a few days ago. No good news. The façade of Elie Wiesel’s house was covered with anti-Semitic messages. Wiesel was a Holocaust survivor, born in Sighet.
Let me believe in the power of Hédi’s words. After all, we can not sink into pessimism. Let the graffiti-sprayers read Questions I am Asked About the Holocaust. Perhaps they find an answer to a question they have forgotten to ask themselves.
— De Standaard, NL

“This is a book to love ... stunning in its simplicity.”