Fred emigrated to Adelaide in 1950 to join his mother who was the only member of his immediate family to survive the Holocaust. Here he married and brought up three children and was involved with the South Australian Jewish community, giving talks to many high school students about his experience. He later moved to Melbourne and was a regular guide at the Jewish Holocaust Centre.
Born Alfred Steiner in 1928 in Košice, Slovakia, Fred grew up on the dairy farm of his Yiddish-speaking, strict Orthodox Jewish grandfather. When the town came under Hungarian and then Nazi German control in 1944, the Steiner family were sent to the local Jewish ghetto before being deported to Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland. 15-year-old Fred was spared death and sent to work with the SS officers’ horses, but his sister, cousins, grandparents, uncle, and aunt were all murdered. He survived a death march, two more concentration camps, and years recovering from serious illness after liberation.