Heda had an enormous talent for expressing herself openly to the outside world. She spoke with precision and was descriptive and witty in places – which in relation to the subject matter is especially rare. I admired her attitude and composure, even after all her extremely difficult experiences. Nazism and Communism, the two totalitarian regimes that passed through Central Europe in the twentieth century, afflicted Heda’s life directly with maximum intensity. Nevertheless, she remained an optimist, and for that I respected her greatly.
Frida Wattenberg: Remembering the Vél d’Hiv Raid of July 16–17, 1942
By Joanne D. Gilbert
As I sat on a hard bench reading a brochure in the crowded lobby of Le Mémorial de la Shoah, the Holocaust Museum in Paris, I sensed a change in the atmosphere and looked up. A sturdy, compact, elderly woman strode purposefully through the lobby. Her alert, intense, brown eyes, strong jaw line, and burst of closely cropped, snowy white hair belied her 88 years. The smiling crowd seemed to both part for and be drawn to her. She nodded back graciously, returning smiles, greetings, and hugs….