Fredy Hirsch’s 105th Birthday – Today’s Doodle celebrates the 105th birthday of German-Jewish educator and athlete Fredy Hirsch. Known for his charismatic spirit and commitment in supporting children, Hirsch helped save Jewish youth during World War II and enriched their lives with the arts.
Alfred “Fredy” Hirsch was born on this day in 1916 in Aachen, Germany, where he started his career as a teacher at several Jewish youth organizations and sports associations. He was openly gay at a time when queer people were being prosecuted by the growing Nazi party. In an effort to escape, Hirsch sought refuge in Czechoslovakia, until the Nazi regime invaded the country and deported him to the Terezin Ghetto and later Auschwitz in 1943.
Against all odds, Hirsch continued teaching at Auschwitz and set up a children’s daycare. He did everything in his power to give hope to the youth in his block—organizing concerts, encouraging children to paint scenes from fairy tales, and even salvaging tin cans to help children create sculptures. Many of the children that Hirsch taught credit him for sparking their creative pursuits, like Zuzana Růžičková who survived Auschwitz and later became one of the world’s greatest harpsichordists.
On February 11, 2016, in commemoration of Hirsch’s 100th birthday, the high school he attended in Aachen renamed its gymnasium and cafeteria in his honor. Today, these buildings stand as testaments to his unbreakable spirit and carry forward his legacy of improving the lives of young people.
Happy birthday, Fredy Hirsch. Here’s to an indomitable hero who reminds the world to push forth with courage and optimism, even during the most trying of times.
You can find more about Fredy Hirsch’s 105th Birthday on the official Google Doodle Page