Oscar Friedmann

Friedmann was born in Germany in 1903. He spent much of his childhood in an orphanage, with his nine brothers and sisters, before training as a teacher and social worker, specialising in the treatment of delinquent boys.

Before the outbreak of war he was sent to Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany and suffered injuries that left part of the left side of his face paralysed.

In 1938 he was asked by the Jewish community to take a batch of Jewish children to England. Though he intended to return to Germany, he settled in London where he worked for the Central British Fund. Subsequently his wife, son and daughter joined him in the UK.

In 1945, at the behest of Leonard Montefiore, Friedmann was in charge of the Windermere reception centre. Friedmann’s attitude was that the children should learn to be independent, to contribute to society and not be dependent on handouts and gifts. In 1948 he trained as a psychotherapist. He was either loved or hated by the Boys.

This profile was written by Ruby Kwartz.

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