Eva Nathanson was born in 1941 in Budapest, Hungary. When she was a young child, the Hungarian Nyilas, members of the pro-Nazi Arrow Cross Party, arrested most of her family. She was very young, but remembers that this took place at her grandfather’s house. This was the last time she saw most of her family. A family friend rescued Eva from this deportation, and provided her and her mother with shelter. For the rest of the duration of the war, Eva was hidden in various homes. She remembers her fear of soldiers, weapons and small spaces, all of which still resonate with her.
As the Soviet army approached Budapest, the Nyilas tried to kill the remaining Jews as quickly as possible. Eva and her mother were just barely spared by a soldier. They were officially liberated in May 1945. After the war, Budapest had been completely transformed by the new Communist regime. She was able to leave with her family in 1956, just months after the revolution, and arrived in the United States in January 1957. Eva settled in Los Angeles, where she raised two kids.
Surviving the Holocaust: Stories of Life
An ongoing project of KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles
and Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust in Pan Pacific Park