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Being Reborn 1

Freda Isaksen

As I grew up in an average Jewish home in London, I had no need or desire to change my good life other than the normal aspirations of a young girl, that is, to learn to be self sufficient and eventually to marry and establish a home of my own.

I had no idea that the simple act of opening a newspaper to find some entertainment together with a girlfriend for a Saturday night would lead to a complete change of my identity and my citizenship and then to unforeseen events that would alter my whole life, personality and character.

Just the act of entering an elevator and being attracted to another person standing there would lead me to three different countries where I would first experience stability, then insecurity, then tragedy.

When I married the young man I encountered in the elevator, I left London to live in Norway, so I became a second person who continued to live a secure life, established in a loving family.

Then overnight Norway was invaded by the Germans and the only way to save myself and my unborn child was to flee to Sweden leaving all material possessions behind. So then I became a third person, without the security of a good home. In Sweden life was tolerable but insecure because of the threat of war all around us, so my husband and I were in agreement to emigrate to America. We came the hard way and entered the U.S. penniless and alone.

So here in America was my fourth entry into a new life. Here I had to mature from being dependent on others to being able to participate in establishing the security for my American family.


  1. Freda’s Autobiography explains the events mentioned here.

Copyright Freda Isaksen 1986–2006. Permission to reuse for non-commercial purposes is granted, provided that the text is unaltered and the original source is acknowledged. For more information, contact isaksen at

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