102-year-old Holocaust survivor stars on the cover of Vogue Germany (PHOTOs)

Friday, June 21, 2024 - A 102-year-old Holocaust survivor whose family was murdered at Auschwitz during World War II is the cover star for the July/August edition of Vogue Germany.

Margot Friedländer, née Bendheim, was born in Berlin in 1921.

According to a brief bio on the website of Berlin’s Jewish Museum,Friedländer spent the early part of the war with her mother and younger brother Ralph after her parents separated. They had plans to flee Germany but in 1943 her brother was arrested by the Gestapo.

Her mother confronted the Gestapo, leading to her deportation to Auschwitz with her son, where they were both murdered.

Before her deportation to Auschwitz, the mum left behind a message for her then 21-year-old daughter that read: “Try to make your life.”

Friedländer, went into hiding but was ultimately betrayed by “catchers” and was sent to Theresienstadt camp in the then-Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia in 1944, according to the museum.

In her interview with Vogue Germany, Friedländer said: “I am grateful. Grateful that I made it. For being able to fulfill my mother’s wish. That I have made my life.”

Vogue Germany said they’d met with Friedländer four times in 2024 and that the cover pictures were shot in April at the Botanical Garden in Berlin.

Friedländer met her future husband, Adolf, while in the Nazi concentration camp, and married him soon after liberation.

The pair emigrated to the US in 1946 and lived in New York for more than six decades. But in 2010, following her husband’s death aged 88, Friedländer moved back to Berlin.

Kerstin Weng, head of editorial content at Vovue, said that the theme of the issue was love, featuring their “favorite pieces, favorite people.” The front of the collector’s issue includes the word “love” written by Friedländer, as well as her signature.

Weng said: “The most positive person I know is on this issue’s cover: Margot Friedländer. To many she is known as a Holocaust survivor. But she not only survived the Nazis, she also overcame betrayal and loss. She would have all reason to be bitter, but remains open-minded and refuses to take sides. She stands up against forgetting and for humanity and togetherness.

“At 102, she seeks to engage with the younger generation and proves that dialogue is still possible.”

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