Frederick Dermer

Frederick Dermer

Born: 1925

Vienna, Austria

Frederick was born to a Jewish family in the Austrian capital of Vienna. His father died when he was a baby, and he and his mother moved into an apartment with Frederick's widowed grandfather. As a young boy, Frederick attended a Viennese public school.

1933-39: Frederick was a rambunctious child. Once, when his grandfather was baby-sitting, Frederick used a silk lampshade as a "parachute," and jumped from the top of the wardrobe closet. That was the last time Frederick's grandfather would baby-sit. Frederick was 13 when Germany took over Austria. Fearing the Nazis, Frederick's mother, together with his aunt's family, arranged for them to be smuggled to Belgium via the Netherlands.

1940-42: As illegal refugees in Brussels, the Dermers were sheltered by the Jewish community. To help support his mother, Frederick worked illegally in a leather shop, tooling items such as wallets and belts. The Germans occupied Belgium in 1940. In 1942 Frederick received a summons from the German authorities to report for "labor" duty.

Frederick was deported immediately after appearing for his summons. He perished at age 17.