Artist creates lifesize sculpture of Holocaust survivor

Frances Segelman creating the sculpture of Holocaust survivor Freddie Knoller. Picture: Sophie Dunne

Frances Segelman creating the sculpture of Holocaust survivor Freddie Knoller. Picture: Sophie Dunne - Credit: Sophie Dunne

A Holocaust survivor and resistance fighter is set to have his likeness cast into bronze.

A lifesize sculpture of Freddie Knoller is set to be created at Limehouse's Bronze Age Foundry after an initial clay bust was created by artist Frances Segelman.

She completed a model of the 98-year-old's head in just two hours, with Freddie's friends and family watching on.

Members of Jewish Care's Holocaust survivors' centre also watched on as the artist - known for her busts of royalty and celebrities - worked on the clay sculpture.

Frances' daughter Victoria Perloff also painted a portrait of Freddie which she presented to him on the day.

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The piece is the latest in a series of sculptures of Holocaust survivors living in the UK.

Born in Vienna in 1921, Freddie was the youngest of three brothers and escaped to Belgium after the Nazis invaded.

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He was interned in a refugee camp until 1940 when he fled to join his cousins in France.

Using false papers, he earned a living in Paris but shortly after joining the French Resistance, was arrested in 1943 and deported to Auschwitz.

He was taken on a death march to Bergen-Belsen but survived, and was later liberated from the concentration camp by the British Army.

In 1947, Freddie went to join his brothers in the USA, and while in Baltimore met and married his wife Freda. The pair returned to her native England two years later where they raised their two daughters.

Freddie began sharing his experience of the Holocaust in the 1970s, at his daughter's insistence, and in 2016 was awarded a British Empire Medal in recognition of his work speaking in schols.

He said: "Although I have had many photos taken of me I have never been sculpted before.

"It was very exciting to be sculpted by Frances, she is a fantastic artist and has created an amazing sculpture of me."

Frances added: "It has been a great privilege to sculpt Freddie Knoller - these important art events help future generations learn from the Holocaust so that it never happens again."

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