NEW YORK (FOX5NY) - The longest-working vendor at a New York City market is celebrating a birthday!
Mathilde Freund just turned 102. She was born in Vienna, Austria in 1916 and married in 1937. The following year her family fled to France when the Nazis invaded.
She gave birth to her only daughter in January 1944 with her husband in Buchenwald, where he died.
Freund cam to New York with her mother and daughter in 1952 and settled on the Upper West Side in the apartment she still occupies.
She earned a B.A. in social science from New York University and a masters in Psychology from the New School and worked as a medical social worker at the Beth Israel Cancer Detection Center and later The French Hospital until she retired in 1977.
That's when she began selling vintage clothing and jewelry at the Grand Bazaar NYC at Columbus Ave. and 77th St. on the Upper West Side.
She speaks seven languages and has also taken continuing education classes at Fordham University for more than 40 years.
Freund starts off each day with a cup of 100% Colombian coffee while listening to the world news on the BBC. She has been going to the West Side Institutional Synagogue for over 50 years and continues to fast on Yom Kippur.
She lost her daughter a little over 10 years ago to breast cancer but has her grandson, Jeffery Glenn and 5 great grandchildren.
She tells her story several times a week to school age children in the New York City school system so people never forget the Holocaust.