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Album of My Life

The Azrieli Foundation | The Azrieli Series of Holocaust Survivor Memoirs

Ann Szedlecki was a Hollywood-film-loving fourteen-year-old when the Nazis invaded Poland in 1939 and she fled to the Soviet Union with her older brother, hoping to return for the rest of her family later. Instead, she ended up spending most of the next six and a half years alone in the Soviet Union, enduring the harsh conditions of northern Siberia under Stalin’s Communist regime. Szedlecki’s beautifully written story, which lovingly reconstructs her pre-war childhood in Lodz, is also compelling for its candour about her experiences as a woman in the Soviet Union during World War II. As a very young woman without family, living largely by her wits, she was only too aware of her own vulnerability, and she met every challenge with a fierce determination to survive.


Ann Szedlecki was born Chana Frajlich in Lodz, Poland in 1925. After the war, she returned to Lodz to find that every member of her family had perished. In 1950, she married and immigrated to Israel and then, in 1953, to Toronto. Ann Szedlecki passed away in 2005.

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