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Professor Arnold Friedmann

Arnold Friedmann was born 1925 in Nuremberg. His family emigrated to Palestine after "Kristallnacht" in 1938. The citations are taken from his autobiographical sketch "From Nuremberg to Hadley".


Arnold Friedmann prior to emigration

Arnold Friedmann prior to emigration


"About three days after Kristallnacht my father was picked up by the Gestapo at his offices. He was held in Gestapo headquarters for three nights. When he came home he looked ten years older and uttered only one sentence: 'Jetzt gehts raus!'"


Nazi convention at Hauptmarkt (main market square) in Nuremberg

Nazi convention at Hauptmarkt (main market square) in Nuremberg (NCA E 39 no. 1163/54)

"The apartment was on the third floor which at that time did not even bother my parents. There where no elevators. The furniture from Nuremberg fitted in more or less - with the exception of the dining room. The front room was furnished with the 'good' pieces including a large desk, a large vitrine, a table which doubled as dining table, and a sofa which doubled as my bed. The middle room was my sister's room ... My parents had brought their bedroom set which furnished the third room. It was quite inappropriate for life in Palestine where most people had to make every room and every piece of furniture do double duty, but by rearranging the twin beds at right angles to each other the room became a kind of sitting room too."


Haifa, Herzl Street in the 1930s

Haifa, Herzl Street in the 1930s (NCA E 39 no. 1031/1)

At age 18 Friedmann voluntarily served with the British army. After his discharge in spring 1946 he worked as a carpenter and parallelly finished his school education which was interrupted by the Nazi takeover. In June 1947 Friedmann moved to the USA in order to study. In New York again he worked as a craftsman and attended evening classes. After the Israeli declaration of independence and the outbreak of the Israeli-Arab war Friedmann returned to Israel in July 1948 and enlisted for military service. After the seize fire he returned to the U.S. and began his studies in interior decoration and design at the Pratt Institute in New York. Until 1969 he advanced to professor and chairman of the school of interior design at Pratt Institute. In 1972 Prof. Friedmann was appointed to teach at the University of Massachusetts. Besides his teaching and research activities at the UMASS he acquired a doctorate in psychology. In 1989 he won the first prize of IKEA foundation endowed with 30,000 dollars. Arnold Friedmann became professor emeritus in 1990.

"In 1988 Susi and I traveled to Nuremberg for a couple of days so that I could show Susi the city where I was born. By that time the town had been completely rebuilt, but as a city it was very dull. We felt it was more of a stage set than a truly historic city. After 6 o'clock the town pretty much closed down including most restaurants."

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