Eva Nathanson

Eva Nathanson was born on January 28, 1941, in Budapest, Hungary. Once of her first memories is being told that the adults were working on an “art project”, something that she considered a happy project, so she didn’t understand why they were crying as they sewed yellow stars on their clothes. 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. She was smuggled out of the service worker’s entrance and brought to her nanny’s home on the property. She was told she would be staying for a sleepover, which she thought of as an adventure. Sadly, 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 war, Eva and her mother hid in various homes. They were moved at night, as to not attract attention. Her mother was approached by a member of the resistance, and asked if she would take a young, orphaned child into hiding with them. Eva’ mother accepted, and this girl became a little sister to Eva. They were both taught to always be silent and not to move a muscle. She remembers her fear of soldiers, weapons, and small spaces, all of which still affect her. As the Soviet army approached Budapest, the Nyilas arrested Jews and lined up along the Danube River to be shot into it. Eva, her mother, and the little girl were caught, bound together, and lined up to be killed. As they were at the end of the line, waiting to be shot into the Danube River, a Hungarian auxiliary soldier recognized Eva’s mother from before the war. He secretly approached her and asked if in exchange for their survival if she would testify on his behalf after the war. Her mother agreed, and as they were tied up and about to be shot into the river, he shot only to wound her, and they all fell into the river. They managed to break free from the rope and held onto rocks as they waited for members of the resistance to bring them to safety. 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. Eva had a long and successful career working at Cedars-Sinai Hospital. She now lives in West Hollywood and continues to work as an artist, expressing her emotions, pain, and hope for the future.