Frances Segelman sculpts Holocaust survivor Freddie Knoller
Marking Holocaust Memorial Day, a short film has been released of Frances Segelman (Lady Petchey) creating a bust of Freddie Knoller, a 98-year-old Holocaust survivor and resistance fighter. VIEW FILM

Freddie who is a member of Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre, was sculpted at a live event at Jewish Care’s Selig Court independent living apartments on 19 January and was attended by an audience of Freddie’s family and friends, tenants of Selig Court, members of Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre and young volunteers from the Sunday Social.

The initial life-size clay bust of Freddie took just two hours to complete and will subsequently be cast into bronze at the Bronze Age Foundry in Limehouse. Frances’ daughter, Victoria Perloff, painted a portrait of Freddie which she presented to him on the day.

Well known for her busts of royalty and celebrities, the bust is the latest in a series of sculptures created by Frances Segelman of Holocaust survivors living in the UK, including Sir Ben Helfgott, Leslie Kleinman BEM, Ivor Perl BEM and Miriam Freeman.

Frances Segelman said, “It has been a great privilege to sculpt Freddie Knoller – these important art events help future generations learn from the Holocaust so that it never happens again”.

Freddie Knoller said, “During the Second World War I was making a living in Paris. In 1943 I was arrested and deported to Auschwitz and later taken on the death march to Bergen-Belsen.” Freddie was later liberated from Bergen-Belsen by the British Army.

After the sculpting session Freddie commented, “Although I have had many photos taken of me I have never been sculpted before. It was very exciting to be sculpted by Frances, she is a fantastic artist and has created an amazing sculpture of me”.

For further information contact:

Simon Tarrant


Jewish Care is the largest health and social care organisation serving the Jewish community in London and the South East. We run over 70 centres and services, touching the lives of 10,000 people every week.

Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre has 500 members and is the only centre in Europe of its kind for Holocaust survivors where the members can enjoy a social, cultural and therapeutic programme of activities.

Frances Segelman (Lady Petchey) born was born in Leeds and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and an Associate of the Royal Society of British Sculptors. Self-taught, Frances has become one of the most successful professional sculptors in Britain and is well known for her busts of the Royal Family, including HM The Queen, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, HRH The Prince of Wales and HRH The Duke of Kent.

Freddie Knoller was born in Vienna on 17 April 1921. The youngest of three brothers he escaped to Belgium when the Nazi’s invaded. Freddie was interned in a refugee camp in Belgium until 1940 before fleeing to France and escaping incarceration again to join cousins in unoccupied Galliac.
Under false papers, he made a living in Paris and joined the French Resistance in March 1943 before being betrayed, arrested and deported to Auschwitz where he was forced to work. He managed to survive before being taken on the Death March to Bergen Belsen and liberated by the British Army on 15 April 1945.
He joined his two brothers in the USA in 1947, working in Baltimore and met and married his wife Freda, who was born in England. They returned to England two years later to have their two daughters, Marcia and Susie.
Freddie and Freda worked in their successful chain of shops, ‘Lady M’ and Freddie became Director of the State of Israel Bonds on retirement. It was only in in 1975, under his daughter’s insistence that he talked about his experiences in the Holocaust. Freddie became an active member of Jewish Care’s Holocaust Survivors’ Centre and began to give talks in order to raise awareness and educate others about the Holocaust. Freddie received his British Empire Medal in 2016, age, 94 in recognition of his work speaking at 385 schools since 2002.