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1 Siegbert Freiberg's Story
2 Other Radio Broadcasts about the Holocaust
NPR Documentary
Reunion, with Siegbert Freiberg, the documentary about the first Holocaust survivor to tell his story on the air. (11:12 min.)

A gallery of the Freiberg family.  

Siegbert Freiberg's Story

Before the term "Holocaust" was part of our vocabulary, a radio show presented by the Mutual Broadcasting Company featured a survivor of Nazi terror telling his story. The program, Reunion, was sponsored by the United Service for New Americans, a Jewish philanthropic organization aimed at reforming the 1924 anti-immigration laws that continued to keep Jews and other Eastern Europeans from the safe haven of America. By masking its grave mission in the guise of popular entertainment, the organization struck the only blow it could against the Fourth Estate's stonewalling of Third Reich abominations.

The format of Reunion, like the popular radio series Queen for a Day, was to bring together, live on the air, people whose reconnections would hit home with listeners. On July 6, 1947, those connections were diverse: a Sgt. Miles Riley was reunited with his wife; one Bill Clemis of Albany, N.Y., came face-to-face with a childhood friend from India; Ezra ("Henry Aldrich") Stone planned a reunion party for his class from the School of Dramatic Arts in New York; and -- in a story unlike anything heard on radio before or since -- the holocaust survivor Siegbert Freiberg was reunited with his beloved father.

In its final episode, the Yiddish Radio Project reexamines that historic broadcast through the other end of the telescope. Our work on this program -- and on the Yiddish Radio Project as a whole -- was profoundly influenced by our association with Freiberg, who died on April 20, 2002. We are grateful beyond words for having known him.

Next Page: Other Radio Broadcasts about the Holocaust »


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