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Dorothea Friedeberger

11 Sivan 5660 (08 June 1900)
2 Iyyar 5753 (23 April 1993)

Basic Information

Unique reference:
Other surname:


Date of birth:
11 Sivan 5660 (08 June 1900)
Place of birth:


Date of death:
2 Iyyar 5753 (23 April 1993)
Died in combat?:
Place of death:
Cause of death:
Old age
Burial place:
Edgware Liberal Jewish Synagogue



South Hampstead High School
Year left:
Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna
Year started:


New West End Synagogue, Bayswater
 < Close personal journey map
Personal Journey map
Dorothea Friedeberger

Moving to Vienna

Family legend
The family moved to Vienna as Dorothea was showing a lot of musical talent on the piano and it would further her career and studies. Her father was offered a job there as the head of a special needs institute for speech impediments and the deaf and dumb, so the move went ahead.

Writing her diary

Family legend
Once the war began, it was forbidden to write in any other language than German so letters to friends in England had to be sent through Switzerland. It was also very risky to be writing her diary (which was in English), let alone travel with it.

Travelling to Vienna

Family legend
As Max and Dorothea were children, when they went to Vienna they traveled on their father's documents, so were never registered as individuals in Austria.

Stolen potatoes

Family legend
As people were starving, her Aunt sent her potatoes from Switzerland but by the time they reached Dorothea and her family, the potatoes had been stolen and were replaced with rocks.

Attending the Viennese Academy and famous friends

Dorothea was the only child at the Academy, and was a contemporary friend of conductor George Sell and the pianist Rudolf Serkin.

Returning to England and changing her name, 1919

Dorothea returned to England around 1918/1919 and escorted orphaned children back on the train. On return, her and Max changed their names from Friedeberger to Fraser due to antisemitism at the time. They chose Fraser because Max was born in Edinburgh and it was a Scottish name.

Meeting her husband

She met Simon on a holiday in the Lake district. Initially, she knew his sister by teaching her children the piano and was invited on holiday by his grandmother, where she met him.

House back in London

Max returned to England before Dorothea. They had rented out their house on Woodchurch Road when they moved to Vienna and on the return it was in a state as it had been rented by some Germans.

Moses' experience with Antisemitism as a child

Moses' family were from a little village called Shrim, in Posen. They were very orthodox and Moses was sent to the local Cheder where he was incredibly bored. Moses was a very bright child and persuaded his father to send him to the local grammar school and would have done very well there if it weren't for antisemitism, as he was constantly marked down for being Jewish. When it came to his matriculation, he borrowed the work of a high-achieving student from the previous year, handed it in and was marked a fail. He showed it to the headmaster, explaining why he had done it but was still kicked out and ended up leaving home at 14.

How Moses met Rosalie and eventually married her

When Moses left home, he traveled through Europe and eventually received a doctorate from Switzerland's Bern University. On his travels, he used to receive hospitality from Jewish families and in Gottingen, he stayed with the Hahn family and met their daughter Rosalie. He ended up going to England around 1890 and continued to exchange letters with her. He did not speak a word of English at the time, despite speaking Hebrew, Latin, Greek and German so he would teach children Hebrew in the East End and learn English from his students. In July 1893, he returned to Gottingham and married Rosalie before moving to Scotland and settling in Edinburgh.



Simon Ernst May (male)
Place of marriage:
New West End Synagogue, Bayswater
Country of marriage:


Marilyn Teacher (female)


Max Fraser (male)


Mother: Rosalie Hahn (female)
Father: Moses (Maurice) Friedeberger (male)

Other Occupations

Type of employment:
Concert Pianist

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London Jews in the First World War - We Were There Too

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