Her life has inspired many New Yorkers. Now, friends and politicians are celebrating her 100th birthday. Our Gene Apodaca was there for the festivities and has the story.
It's not every day, politicians from across the city come out to celebrate your birthday — but, then again Mathilde Freund is not your ordinary New Yorker.
"She still takes classes at Fordham she goes to classes, theater, museums," said Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer. "She has 100-percent Colombian coffee every morning."
Freund — who is turning 100 next month — is a fierce one-woman business.
A fixture for 30 years here at the Grand Bazaar NYC on the Upper West side.
Known, not only for the unique treasures she sells, but, for the 7 languages she speaks.
But, what most casual customers probably don't know is that Freund is a Holocaust survivor.
Born in Vienna, she managed to escape the Nazis by hiding out in the forest for seven years. Tragically, members of her own family, including her husband, would not survive.
"She deserves some sort of attention for what she has accomplished in life," said friend Phyllis Newman. "She's a role model for all of us and yet she doesn't want any of the attention."
But, attention she is getting from proclamations made here in the city, to a personalized letter from President Obama himself.
The letter concludes:
"Michelle and I wish you all the best in the coming years, Sincerely Barack Obama"
People recognizing her past and yet how she continues to help the future.
"People come here just to buy from Mathilde who is a single business woman and all of the money that she makes goes towards charity helping the kids in this school," said Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal.
Although, honored Freund says she is just a humble woman, a humble woman, with just one very big birthday wish.
"My greatest wish in life should be peace on earth I really mean that," she said.
If you'd like to meet Mathilde yourself you can always stop by the Grand Bazaar NYC any Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Columbus Avenue and 77th Street.