Timeline - Fredericka Saharovici
July 26: Fridericka was born “Freda Beckin” in Targu Neamt, Romania, in the province of Moldova. At that time there were about 10,000 people in the city; 3,000 of them were Jews. Her grandfather was an ordained rabbi and had an import-export cotton business.
The Romanians took over Fridericka’s parents’ business, kicking them out and forcing them to move. As a child, Fridericka was forced to wear a yellow star.
The Romanian guards took Fridericka’s father, along with 17 other leaders of the Jewish communities, and held them as hostages. The guards told the Jewish citizens that if any of them attempted to leave the city, one hostage would be shot for each person that left. The next morning they found Fredericka’s father alive, but he was later sent to a labor camp.
Fridericka’s parents listened to the radio underneath the covers, fearful that the police would find out. Everyone had evacuated the city, but Jews were trapped there. The Romanians then forced the Jews to march to another small town called Buhusi, about 40 miles away from Targu Neamt. The Russians liberated Buhusi. However, after hearing about women being raped by their liberators, Fridericka and her parents returned to hiding in a basement where they stayed for three days.
After the liberation, Fridericka’s father went to Bucharest and her mother returned to Targu Neamt to be near family.
Fridericka finished school at the university in Bucharest with a degree in organic chemistry. There, she met Leonid Saharovici, who helped her to get a job.
Fridericka married Leonid.
University of Tennessee Medical School hired Fridericka as a toxicology research forensic chemist; she and Leonid moved to Memphis, Tennessee.
Fridericka performed the toxicology on Elvis Presley after his death.
Fridericka became president of the Memphis Chapter of HADASSAH (Jewish Organization).
Fridericka Saharovici lives in Memphis, Tennessee with her husband, Leonid, who is also a Holocaust survivor.