The N.K.V.D. was the internal security branch of the Soviet occupation authorities. Marek Gottesman was arrested by the Soviets sometime between 1939 and 1941 and, like many of Lvov’s affluent citizens, he disappeared, never to be heard from again. Frey was conscripted into service as a neurologist by the Soviets and was paid the flat doctor’s rate of 200 rubles biweekly. She served in this capacity until June 30, 1941, when the Soviets abandoned the city ahead of the advancing German forces. The Germans incited violence against both Jews and Communists almost as soon as they occupied the city.
Like most other Jews, Frey and her daughter probably survived this period by staying off the streets or in hiding until the violence passed. To establish order and compliance with German directives, the German authorities appointed several Jewish community leaders to form a Judenrat, or Jewish Council.
Ostensibly a leadership appointed to administer the needs of ghetto residents, the officials of the Jewish Council were responsible for ensuring the implementation of German policy toward the Jews, a responsibility that they accepted with varying degrees of reluctance. Their charge included facilitating the deportation of Jews to killing centers. The Jewish Council passed and enforced decrees that established Jewish public services (housing, health care, a police force, and so on) within the framework of catastrophic shortages imposed by the German authorities. On question 30 of her Fragebogen, when asked to identify her employer, Frey responded “Jewish Community”, which effectively meant the Jewish Council. Like so many others, Frey had little choice but to work for the same organization that would, ultimately, facilitate the deportation of most Jewish residents of Lvov. Nonetheless, she could not have foreseen this when she filled out her Fragebogen.
The arrest and disappearance of Lucja’s husband under Soviet occupation after World War II began; plunder, brutality, pogroms, isolation, ghettoization following the German invasion.