Obituary: Freda Rosenschein Lederer (z'l)
- November 26, 2013Obituary NoticeFreda Rosenschein Lederer, z'l
Freda Rosenschein Lederer, 88, passed away on Monday, November 25, 2013 at her residence. Freda was born on January 6, 1925 in what was then Munkacs, Czechoslovakia, to the late Yehoshuah and Regina (Weinberg) Rosenschein. She was the only daughter among 5 children, in a family that struggled to make ends meet. She excelled in her schoolwork, but World War II interrupted her education.
After Nazi Germany occupied Czechoslovakia in 1944, Freda, her family and the entire local Jewish population were forced into a ghetto created in Munkacs by the Nazis. Several weeks later, the occupants of the Munkacs ghetto, including Freda, were forcibly shipped in cattle cars to the Auschwitz death camp. Both of Freda's parents and one of her four brothers perished at Auschwitz. Freda was forced into slave labor in a Nazi armaments factory.
As the Nazi regime began to collapse in 1945, Freda was among those who survived the death march to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. She was terribly ill with typhus when the prisoners at Bergen-Belsen were finally liberated by the British in April 1945. After receiving life saving medical care by British medical teams, Freda was allowed to enter Sweden as a refugee where she spent a year living in the warm embrace of a Jewish family in Gothenburg.
Freda returned to Eastern Europe sometime in 1946 after discovering that three of her brothers had survived the war. Reunited, they made their way to the American Occupation Zone in Germany, where Freda found employment with the American Occupation Government. There she met her future husband, Steve Lederer of Kaposvar, Hungary, also a Holocaust survivor.
Freda and her brothers were eventually admitted to the United States and Freda quickly moved to Montreal, Canada in order to join her fiancé, Steve. They married in Montreal in 1949 and several years later were able to rejoin her brothers in America where they had settled in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. With the support of the Harrisburg Jewish Community, Freda, Steve and her brothers were able to start their own dry cleaning business, which continues to thrive today as Quality Cleaners in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania.
In addition to raising three children and working in the family business, Freda was able to resume her education and earn an Associate Degree from Harrisburg Area Community College.
She continued to go to work at the Quality Cleaners store every day until several months before her death, just 6 weeks before her 89th birthday. She continually impressed family members, friends, and customers with her desire and enthusiasm to keep working but her true passion was her family. She was completely devoted to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also loved her sister-in-law and closest friend Yolanda Rosenschein. They spoke every day for decades, including the day before Freda passed away.
Freda is survived by her 2 sons: Ernie Lederer (wife Helene) and Ken Lederer (wife Monica McManus); her daughter Vivian L. Blanc (husband Haim); 5 grandchildren: Maya Colonna (husband Lee), Eitan Blanc, Tamar Blanc, Steven Lederer, Robyn Lederer; and 4 great grandchildren: Jackson, Zaibryn, Sullivan and Scarlet Colonna.Funeral services for Freda will be held on Wednesday, November 27, 2013 at 11am at the Kesher Israel Cemetery, Harrisburg with Rabbi Akiva Males officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the Kesher Israel Congregation, 2500 N 3rd St, Harrisburg, PA 17110 or to Hospice of Central PA, 1320