Ask Mathilde Freund her age and she offers a demure response, “It should be a secret!” The 96-year-old Freund has reason to be proud of her age, but modesty forbids. She has met some of life’s toughest challenges and has witnessed history’s darkest moments. She is a holocaust survivor who arrived in New York with mother, daughter, and a wedding ring hidden in the hem of her skirt. Her newlywed husband died at Buchenwald. Her brother was shot on orders from Klaus Barbie.
Freund takes a highly philosophical perspective of these events, much of it culled through literature read as a student in Fordham’s School for Professional and Continuing Studies’ College at 60 program. The program turns 40 this year and Freund has been taking class there for 35 years.
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