German Resistance Memorial Center Biographie
The Sinto Max Friedrich came from a traveling family. He was drafted into the Wehrmacht in 1941 but expelled a year later for “racial reasons.” At the beginning of March 1943, he and his wife Grete and their five children were deported to Auschwitz, where Grete and their youngest child Waltraud perished a short time later. Max Friedrich was involved in the uprising on May 16, 1944, and was deported to Ravensbrück concentration camp with his four surviving children shortly afterward. He and his son Alfred were put in the men’s camp, while his three daughters Sonja, Eva, and Agathe were held in the women’s camp. Max, Alfred, and Sonja Friedrich were subjected to forced sterilization by SS doctors in Ravensbrück. In early 1945, Max and his son Alfred were deported to Sachsenhausen concentration camp. The father was sent from there to the front again shortly before the end of the war, where he was severely injured by a landmine and taken to a military hospital. Alfred Friedrich managed to escape during an evacuation march. Sonja, Eva, and Agathe Friedrich were sent via Mauthausen concentration camp to Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, where they were liberated shortly before the end of the war by British troops. Max Friedrich managed to return to his children at Christmas of 1945. In the 1960s, his statement at the first Frankfurt Auschwitz trial became one of the early testaments to the genocide of Europe’s Sinti and Roma.