Work offered the best opportunity for survival. Many Jews went to the Jewish Council offices seeking a life-preserving work permit, yet having a trade did not guarantee receipt of a document. The labor needs of the German-occupied General Government dictated how many passes were issued and who received them. Specialized surgeons and lawyers were passed over in favor of general practitioners, electricians, or plumbers. By April 1, 1942, the Germans had issued approximately 70,000 exemption papers; of these, 20,000 were issued to women. Frey was one of the lucky few, receiving hers on April 1, 1942, the first evening of Passover. The status of her daughter Danuta is unknown.
The April 1, 1942, exemption is the last known evidence proving Frey was still alive. From that date until the eventual destruction of the ghetto in June 1943, any number of fates could have befallen her. It is possible, though very unlikely, that she escaped or went into hiding and survived the war. Had Frey and her daughter attempted to escape and been caught, they probably would have been shot.
It is possible that Frey herself died of typhus. As a physician working in the clinic, she would have been continually exposed to the disease with little means of protecting herself from infection. Those who died of the disease were buried in mass graves. Frey could also have been the victim of a random street killing. Many ghetto residents died in this way and their bodies were also thrown into the mass graves next to the Jewish cemetery.
Finally, Frey may have died following the second set of mass deportations begun in August 1942. At this time, German SS, police, and their auxiliaries shot or deported to Belzec roughly 50,000 Lvov Jews. The SS conducted house to house searches inspecting work papers. As the result of a rift that had developed between the SS and the civil administrators of the General Government over which agency was in ultimate control of the ghetto, members of the SS were searching for the red seals on the work permits issued by the civil administration. Claiming these were no longer valid, the SS required that the black seals of the SS be present for a worker to be spared. Individuals without papers bearing the black seal were rounded up. Those capable of work were sent to the Janowska forced labor camp. The rest were deported to Belzec where they were murdered. Storming into the medical facilities in August, the SS and police rounded up medical staff and patients alike, and deported most of them to Belzec. Those who could not walk or move were shot on the spot. Only a small number were spared.
Later, in November 1942, the German authorities decreed that only 12,000 of the remaining 25,000 Jews in the ghetto would be given new work permits. Since the Germans had decided to close Belzec, those who did not receive permits were taken to the sand pits at Gora Piaski, stripped, and shot in mass graves.
At the beginning of 1943 only several thousand of Lvov’s 150,000 Jews remained in the ghetto. There is no evidence to indicate that Frey and her daughter were among them. By the end of July 1943, the SS and German police had murdered the last ghetto residents of Lvov. A handful of Jews survived by hiding in the homes of Gentiles, in the sewers, or in the forests near Lvov until the end of the war.
We will never know with certainty what happened to Frey.
Only a small number were spared...