Katarina Fried (née Altmann) was born in Brezno-Nhronom, Czechoslovakia in 1932. She was raised in a non-observant Jewish home. Her Father managed the fuel distribution company ‘Geltol’ while her grandfather owned a bakery and other property in the town of Liptovsky-Mikulas. Before going into hiding, Katarina was harassed and beaten in the street several times by Czech fascists. From October 1944 to April 1945 her family hid in and around the Mosnica woods in the Tabra Mountains, Czechoslovakia. They survived in hiding by paying peasants for food and access to shelter in a barn. Later they were forced to dig underground bunkers and foxholes and even hid in hay piles to evade capture by the Germans. Katarina’s family survived without food for the last six weeks of the war. Many of Katarina’s extended family members perished in concentration camps including her grandparents, two uncles, two aunts, and two cousins.
The Fried family was liberated by the Russian Army in April 1945. At that time her Father weighed fifty pounds. They returned to Liptovsky-Mikulas after the war to find that her grandparents and half the town’s Jews had earlier been sent directly to the gas chambers. Her father went back to work and Katarina returned to school. Katarina married in 1951 to Vojtech Fried and lived in Prague until they escaped Russian occupied Czechoslovakia to the United States via Israel in 1964. Katarina Fried has one son and two grandchildren and currently lives in Florida.