Éva Fahidi died on September 11th at the age of 97. She recently gave a lecture about her tumultuous life in Debrecen.
Éva Fahidi was born in Debrecen in 1925. At the age of 18, she was deported to Auschwitz and then sent to the Allendorf forced labor camp, where she was made to work in a war plant – she later considered this his second birthday: if she hadn’t been here, she wouldn’t have had a chance to survive. She was the only one from her family of fifty to return to Budapest in 1945. She trusted in the power of memory, she believed that her task was to speak about the past.
She considered it her mission that the young generation keep the Holocaust in their memory and actively fight against all forms of racism. From her lecture last October, we learned that the conditions of the death camp were incomprehensible to today’s minds. According to Éva, they were all shoved into the cattle cars, which were then filled to overflowing. The journey there took about two weeks. All they got was a bucket of water. Due to the unfavorable conditions, many people lost their lives in the wagon. They had no idea where they were going. When they arrived, they were pulled off the wagon one by one and the sorting began. Families were torn apart. Children and the elderly were taken to the gas chambers. When they arrived, the camps were still unfinished. Their roof structure was incomplete, and it often rained on them. The food there was inedible. Éva worked in a weapons factory where they had to make 50 kg grenades, around 800 in one night – the Honorary Citizen of Debrecen listed her shocks.