The shy 25 year old Frieda met her future husband, Joseph Roth at the Viennese Literature café, Herrenhof in1919. Before long she became the subject of his poetry as well as his secretary, editor and critic.
In 1930 Frieda, showing signs of mental illness, is admitted to a private sanatorium outside of Vienna. Joseph continues to pay for her institutionalization until 1933 when, due to financial ruin, he has her transferred to the public Irrenanstalt Am Steinhof (lit: Lunatic asylum, am Steinhof) in Vienna where he only has to pay a fraction of the costs. In 1935 Frieda is transferred yet again to the Heil- und Pflegeanstalt Mauer-Öhling (public psychiatric hospital) where Joseph no longer has to bear any financial burden.
In 1940 a group of doctors, arriving from Berlin, compile a list of all patients diagnosed as Schizophrenic, Alcoholic, Senile or Epileptic. Frieda, along with 693 other patients, is transferred to Hartheim extermination institution where she is gassed on July 15, 1940 under the direction of Dr Rudolf Lonauer.