She was one of the best-known contemporary witnesses of the Holocaust and warned today’s generations against relativizing it. Now Éva Fahidi-Pusztai has died.
The Hungarian Holocaust survivor Éva Fahidi-Pusztai is dead. “It is with great sadness that we learned that Éva Fahidi-Pusztai, survivor of the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps and committed fighter for democracy and human rights, died in Budapest this morning,” shared the Buchenwald and Mittelbau-Dora Memorials Foundation, citing Fahidi’s life partner.
“With her we are losing a close friend who has supported the Buchenwald Memorial with great commitment for decades.”
Fahidi-Pusztai, who was honored with the Federal Cross of Merit and was an honorary citizen of Weimar and Stadtallendorf (Hesse), died a few weeks before her 98th birthday. She had lost almost her entire family in the Holocaust.
Dedicated contemporary witness
Over the past 20 years, she has worked as a contemporary witness to ensure that the Holocaust is not forgotten or reinterpreted. She also advocated the conviction of the last living perpetrators from the Nazi concentration and extermination camps. “A strong heart has stopped beating. I am infinitely sad,” wrote Thuringia’s Prime Minister Bodo Ramelow (Left) in the short message service X (formerly Twitter).
“Éva Fahidi-Pusztai gave the victims of National Socialism a voice,” wrote Thuringia’s state parliament president Birgit Pommer (Left).
Éva Fahidi was born on October 22, 1925 in Debrecen, Hungary, as the daughter of an upper-class Jewish wood merchant. The family converted to Catholicism in 1936. At the end of the 1930s, increasingly strict anti-Semitic laws were introduced in Hungary, which increasingly excluded the Jewish population from society.
After Hungary was occupied by the German Wehrmacht in the spring of 1944, the Fahidi family had to move to the ghetto. On June 27, 1944, she was deported to the Auschwitz/Birkenau extermination camp, where Éva Fahidi’s mother and younger sister were murdered in the gas chamber and her father died from the conditions in the camp. A total of 49 of her family members fell victim to the Holocaust. In mid-August 1944 she herself was transported to the Münchmühle subcamp of the Buchenwald concentration camp in Hesse for forced labor. Liberated by American troops in March 1945, Éva Fahidi returned to Hungary. She later worked there in foreign trade and founded her own company in 1989.
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