Frieda Schwelke

Memories of growing up in Coney Island in the 1930s and '40s and moving to Luna Park Houses in 1962

Born in 1930 in Coney Island, Frieda Schwelke and her family lived on West 36th, West 29th, and West 32nd Streets.  In February 1962, she moved with her husband and son to Luna Park Houses when it first opened, and lived there through 1970. Schwelke shares childhood memories of the beach, the amusements, and school days. She remembers how the Great Depression and World War 2 profoundly affected her family. Anti-Black and anti-Semitic incidents and her father's liberal outlook -- he was a member of the IWO (International Workers Order) -- made a strong impression on her. "It left me with an open mind and an understanding that everybody has a life and is the same."