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Eva Heyman

John Simkin

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Eva Heyman was born in Nagyvarad, Hungary in 1931. When she was thirteen the country was occupied by the German Army. The family were at great risk because they were not only Jewish but were active in left-wing politics.

Eva and her grandparents were arrested and deported to Auschwitz were they were killed in October 1944.

Eva Heyman's mother was sent to Belsen but was rescued by Allied troops in 1945. After arranging for her daughter's diary to be published, her mother committed suicide.

Eva Heyman, diary entry (25th March, 1944)

I was on my way home when the German soldiers came marching in, with cannons and tanks, the kind I've seen in the newsreels.

Grandma says that the Aryans are greeting her coolly in the street, or turning the other way. There is a new government already, and Sztojay is Prime Minister. I don't know the rest of it, but Agi says that this is the end of everything; we won't see the end of the war.

Eva Heyman, diary entry (26th March, 1944)

On the radio they keep announcing all kinds of regulations about the Jews, all the things they are not allowed to do. Agi spoke to Budapest today, too. She says that all their friends have already been captured by the Germans, who kill all of them, including children.

Eva Heyman, diary entry (28th March, 1944)

Aunt Friedlander was just here. Early this morning the German and Hungarian police took Uncle Sandor and everyone they knew who is a Socialist or Communist.

We heard on the radio this evening that in Budapest all the books ever written by Uncle Bela were taken to some kind of mill, because his books mustn't be read anymore, and they are harmful to people. But not only Uncle Bela's books are harmful, also those written by other people. For example, those of Ferenc Molnar, of which I've already read "The Pal Street Boys." I really don't know how that can be harmful to people.

Eva Heyman, diary entry (31st March, 1944)

Today an order was issued that from now on Jews have to wear a yellow star-shaped patch. The order tells exactly how big the star patch must be, and that it must be sewn on every outer garment, jacket or coat.

Eva Heyman, diary entry (9th April, 1944)

Today they arrested my father. At night they came to him and put a seal on his door. For several days now I've known that a few hundred people are being held prisoner in the school in Koros Street, but until now they only took the very rich people.

Eva Heyman, diary entry (20th April, 1944)

Every day they keep issuing new laws against the Jews. Today, for example, they took all our appliances away from us: the sewing machine, the radio, the telephone, the vacuum cleaner, the electric fryer and my camera. I don't care about the camera any more, even though they didn't leave a receipt for it, like when they took the bicycle.

Eva Heyman, diary entry (5th May, 1944)

Agi and Grandpa went out into the street between nine and ten in the morning to hear the latest news. The city was divided into sections, and a German truck would wait in front of the houses and two policeman would go into the apartments and bring the people out.

The two policemen who came to us weren't unfriendly; they just took Grandma's and Agi's wedding rings away from them. Agi was shaking all over and couldn't get the wedding ring off her finger. In the end, Grandma took the ring off her finger.

One of the policemen saw a little gold chain on my neck, the one I got for my birthday, the one holding your key, dear diary. Don't you know yet, the policeman said, that you aren't allowed to keep anything made of gold? This isn't private Jewish property anymore but national property!


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  • 1 year later...

Yet, my little Diary, I don't want to die, I still want to live ..

I would wait for the end of the war in a cellar, or in the attic, or any hole, I would, my little Diary,

I would even allow that cross-eyed gendarme who took the flour from us to kiss me, only not to be killed,

only to be left alive!

You can read more about Eva Heyman here :


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