Jewish survivors of the Holocaust
Eva (1 of 5). Holocaust Survivors Centre Interviews
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Holocaust Survivor Centre Interviews
Eva, 1924- (speaker, female)
Goodman, Barbara (speaker, female)
Part 1: Born in Budapest, Hungary, 1924. Parents divorced when she was 2. Attended 15 different schools before age of 15. Consciousness of Jewishness as race, but not as religion. Felt labelled because of parents' divorce - shocking. By 1939 Germans already in Austria and Poland and emigrations were starting. Mother remarried and emigrated to Morocco. Eva lived in room with sister, learnt trade (leatherworking). Germans invaded Hungary, 1944; Jews had to wear Yellow Star. Eva had joined trade union; in trouble for distributing union anti-Nazi leaflets; had to flee to Zuglo suburb. Taken by gendarmes, interrogated and tortured. Imprisoned for 2 months then taken with many other Jews by wagon to Auschwitz. Glad to be free from interrogators; excitement at leaving Hungary for first time. Thought she was being taken to Poland to work. Arrival at Auschwitz; separation of men and women, children and old people killed. Head and body shaved, disinfected, showers. Soup contained bromide. Selections by Dr Mengele; pregnant friend selected for experiments. Description of camp life. Went to Birkenau for disinfectant baths. October 1944, taken to Ravensbruck camp, then selected again for Henkle factory to make parts for aeroplanes. Describes life in factory. Liberation by the Russians on 8 May 1945. Walked home to Budapest; took 4 months. Life back home in Budapest; grandparents still alive; stayed with them, then with sister. Joined parents in Morrocco. Depressed, no concentration, no counselling or help. Met husband Robert (Hungarian Catholic). Married in Tangiers. Came to live in London in 1960, had son. Difficulties with language, conflicts with mother, nervous breakdown. 1965 moved to present house. 1994, mother, husband and best friend all died in same year. Now visits Holocaust Survivors Centre, but very lonely, grieving for lost family. Hopes that son will marry.