Fazekas, Judith

Judit Fulop was born in the small city of Debrecen, Hungary on September 23, 1928. She grew up an only child in a comfortable middle class environment, attending a Jewish school and then her local high school until the war broke out in 1944, when Jewish students were prohibited from attending public schools. Despite these

Fazekas, Leslie

Leslie Fazekas was born on September 28, 1925, in Debrecen, Hungary.  He grew up in a middle class family in the well-assimilated Jewish community, alongside his younger brother.   He did well in school, and was preparing to go to university, just as wartime anti-Semitic restrictions were beginning to be felt in Hungary.  But his

Mezei, Leslie

Leslie Mezei was born in 1931 in Hungary in a little town called Gödöllő. He had a good relationship with his mother and father. His father was an officer in the Hungarian army, and a lawyer. Leslie lived in a small house and had a tough childhood with some anti-Semitism appearing in his neighborhood and

Nash, Georgine

Georgine Nash was born in Hungary on June 16,1937.  She grew up during the war, and as was the case with most Hungarian Jews, she enjoyed a distance from the terrible conflict, and the from the terrible Shoah that was commencing in the neighbouring countries.  Georgine remembers her father being taken away to a labour

Engel, Yolanda

Yolanda Engel (nee Lebovics) was born December 11, 1937.  She grew up in wartime Hungary, sheltered from events until the German occupation of 1944. Her father had been conscripted into the labour battalions by that time, and the remaining family members were taken into the ghetto. Shortly after that, Yolanda’s mother was taken away to

Speare, Mary

Mary Speare was born in Budapest, Hungary but has lived in Canada for over 60 years.  She went through WW2 and experienced Nazis persecution against Jews.  Her father was taken to a labour camp early on, as the family’s fortunes began to unravel.  Mary was fortunate to be spared deportation to Auschwitz as her mother put

Gasper, Lidia

Lidia Gasper was born in 1928 in Szekszard, Hungary. Before the Holocaust, she had a good life. She had other Jewish friends in her town, her father had a mill that gave them water, and she had a bat mitzvah. She had to go to another town to go to school, and this is where

Bensimon, Marian

Marian Bensimon was born in Czechoslovakia; she was 6 years old in 1942 when her family moved to Budapest, Hungary.   Marian’s parents sensed the danger on the way; her father was taken to a labour camp and the family placed in a ghetto, so Marian’s mother arranged to have her daughters taken to a convent, where they were hidden

Szabo, Paul

Paul Szabo was born in 1933 Hungary. His family was made up of his mother, father and sister, who was 3 years older than he. Paul’s father was a manager in charge of a small factory manufacturing plumbing fixtures. His mother was an accountant before the war, working for a pharmaceutical company. Paul and his

Olsson, Eva

Eva Olsson grew up in Hungary, born into a Jewish family in Satu Mare, Hungary. She remembers the family’s Hasidic traditions, and the poverty and simplicity of her early life. Like other Hungarian Jews, Eva was comparatively isolated from the war raging all around them; they heard rumours and such, but as Hungary was allied

Kuti, Steve

Steve Kuti is a survivor of the Shoah from Budapest, Hungary, one with a remarkable story to tell.  He remembers growing up in relative privilege; his parents did well and were accepted in the larger community.  But with changes in Hungary’s wartime government, restrictions came into play, and Steve remembers his family being pushed to

Berkovitz, Helen

Helen Berkovitz was born in 1921 in Tacsava, Czechoslovakia. The eldest of three sisters, Helen lost both parents in Auschwitz and was interned with her sisters in Bergen-Belsen and Theresientadt. After liberation, Helen met her husband at a collection point for the camps near the Austrian border, and they went through the DP camp life together as

Gador, George

George Gador was born in Czechoslovakia in 1925. When the Germans invaded Czechoslovakia, it was split into two areas.  The area near Hungary was where George and his family lived. When George grew up he learnt how to speak both Hungarian and Czechoslovakian.  Later on, he was captured by Nazis and was taken to a

Mason, Michael

Michael Mason was born in Czechoslovakia in 1928 and grew up in Hungary, with the name Miklos Friedman.  He has three siblings, Laci, Magda and Freddi.  His life was interrupted by the reality of World War Two, when Germany’s occupation saw his family lose its business and its rights of citizenship.  A tough kid, Michael

Salsberg, Kitty

Kitty Salsberg was born in Budapest, Hungary, on November 14, 1932. Orphaned after the war, Kitty and her younger sister, Ellen, immigrated to Canada in 1948 through the Canadian Jewish Congress’s War Orphans Project. Kitty and her younger sister, Ilonka, arrived in Canada with painful memories from the Holocaust, which took both of their parents.

Scott, George

George Scott was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1930. He had a relatively big and nice family. “Everything should be okay, but experience changes people, “ he said. The Holocaust turned him into a reflective, quiet boy, puzzled by many things. He recorded that in 1943, his life started to change. All Jews in Hungary

Hilf, Magda

Magda Hilf was born in Maly Kevesd, Czechoslovakia, in 1921. Her early years consist of many fond memories, with family and friends and books, all in a rural setting.  After 1938’s Munich Accord, the situation changed:  when the Hungarians took over her region, the restrictions began.  Her father lost his business, and he and so

Lane, Mark

Mark Lane was born in 1929 in eastern Czechoslovakia, in the village of Olenovo. In 1939, with the division of the country, the area was ceded to Hungary. The family began to struggle, dealing with the rising anti-Semitism and the restrictions that began to be imposed on their daily lives. In the spring of 1944,

Mandel, Joe

Joe Mandel is a Holocaust survivor from the central European region of Ruthenia.  When Joe was born in 1924, Ruthenia was part of Czechoslovakia, but following Chamberlain’s failed “Peace in our time” bid and the following wartime border changes, Joe’s town was ceded to Hungary (it has also at various times been part of Germany,

Friedman, Henry

Henry Friedman, a Holocaust survivor, was born on October 22, 1931. Henry was born in a small town in Hungary called Nyireghaza. He went to English and Hebrew school and spent his time with his friends and family. Henry was the youngest of two brothers and a sister. He lived as normal of a life

Vermes, Sophie

Sophie Vermes was born into a successful middle-class family in Mezocsat, Hungary. Although her father died in 1938, she describes her childhood as comfortable and filled with interactions with non-Jewish residents of her town. In March of 1944, her life was thrown into disarray by the Nazi-occupation of Hungary. In 2014, Sophie sat down with

Meisels, Leslie

Leslie Meisels was born in Nádudvar, Hungary in1927. He lived with his parents, two brothers, and both sets of grandparents. He survived the ghetto in Debrecen, slave labour and eventual deportation to Bergen-Belsen. He was liberated in April1945 by the US Army. His mother, father and both brothers also survived. Leslie immigrated to Canada in

Meisels, Eva

Eva Meisels was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1939, an only child. After her father was taken to a forced labour camp in 1942, Eva and her mother were sent to the Budapest Ghetto and eventually, a safe house. They obtained false papers from Raoul Wallenberg and were liberated by the Soviet Army. After the

Weksberg, Lenka

Lenka Weksberg was born in Tacovo, Czechoslovakia, in 1926. In 1944, the entire family was deported to the Mathesalka Ghetto in Hungary and then to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where her mother and brother were murdered. Lenka survived a slave labour camp in Geislingen, and Alach, as well as a death march. Lenka was liberated by the US

Fisch, Edward

Edward Fisch grew up in wartime Hungary.  Grandparent of Crestwood student Sidra Fisch, he learned to survive against the backdrop of Hungarian fascism and the 1944 occupation of Hungary by Nazi Germany, including time spent in the ghettoes and camps.  Edward visited us for this interview in October 2013, where he was interviewed by Sidra

Cohen, Judy

Judy Cohen is a Holocaust survivor from Hungary.  She was born on September 17th, 1928 in the city of Debrecen.  They were a family of 7 children, with Judy being the youngest. Judy’s early life was a good one, full of promise and possibility, until she ansd her family were caught up in the terrible

Eisen, Alex

Alex Eisen survived the Jewish Holocaust in Hungary at the end of the war. While he was not deported to the camps, he did witness the horrors inflicted upon the Jews of Budapest, which he was fortunate enough to escape. After the war came to an end, he left Europe and ended up in Palestine,

Friedman, Arnold

Arnold Friedman was born in the Carpathian region of the Ukraine. When the prewar border adjustment known as the Anschluss occurred, he and his family suddenly found themselves living in Hungary. As such, they were offered a temporary respite from the Holocaust. While Polish and Ukrainian Jews were confronted by the Nazi onslaught in 1939-40,

Stern, George

George Stern survived the Holocaust in Hungary.  A teenage boy at the time, George lost most of his family, but he was fortunate to go into hiding in the countryside.  He remembers that he lost his Barmitzvah to the war.  When the conflict was over, he emigrated to Israel and later to Canada, where he

Weisz, Rachel

Rachel Weisz was living in Budapest when the war began. Both Rachel’s mother and father were originally from Poland. Her father and uncles owned a textile factory, though Rachel’s family was the only one with Hungarian citizenship. When Rachel was in grade 6 her family hit hard times. Her father and uncles were arrested because