It was just “beshert,” it was fate that brought us here. Innocently looking for a gift for my wife who’s a physician. She collects women-in-medicine ephemera and memorabilia. When I put in the words in the search box of “woman” and “doctor,” what came up was the “Fragebogen,” the questionnaire that was Nazi generated, to be completed by Jewish professionals. And these penetrating pools of unexplained pain in a woman’s eyes who sat for the photograph -- I’m sure reluctantly -- very malnourished, very sad. And soon we found out that she was in fact Doctor Lucja Frey, who, although married as Gottesman later in life, having had a daughter, and a husband named Mordechai Meir Gottesman, her daughter’s name Danuta. She had been a very accomplished researcher, and to this date has a syndrome which is attributed to her named Frey’s syndrome.
I had a patient come to me that was frustrated with her previous physicians. That she kept telling them that when she ate, her face sweat. I had never heard of this, I had no idea what she was talking about and then when I came home my husband said, “Honey, we know who Doctor Frey is now, and there’s a syndrome named after her.” And he threw down the printout, and there it was. It was gustatory facial sweating, which means that when you eat your face sweats. It’s like, you know she was teaching me. She continues to teach, despite, you know, what had happened to her.
We feel very honored and privileged that you’re continuing this project.
It’s not always that we get a donor who has such a passion about an object that doesn’t connect to their family. Most of our collections, most of our original documentary collections come from either the survivor, or a witness, or a family member. And it isn’t often that we get something that has become part of your family, when it really wasn’t originally, and that is extremely meaningful for us as well.
Thank you so much. The hospitality shown on behalf of the Museum, and the interest, and the knowledge base that’s here in this Museum is what brought it here. It belongs here, it should be here, it’s safe here. And there’s peace in my heart because I know I don’t have to worry about it being purloined or destroyed. It is where it should be.