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Press Information published by the International Auschwitz Committee


The Hungarian-Jewish Auschwitz survivor Eva Fahidi died this morning in Budapest aged 97.

Eva Fahidi, Hungarian-Jewish Auschwitz survivor. Photograph: imago/ZUMA Press

Eva Fahidi, Hungarian-Jewish Auschwitz survivor. Photograph: imago/ZUMA Press




It is with deep sadness, profound gratitude and greatest respect that Auschwitz survivors around the world are now bidding farewell to their fellow sufferer, friend and long-time companion, Eva Fahidi, who died today in Budapest at the age of 97.

Eva Fahidi was born in Debrecen, Hungary, in 1925. She grew up in a middle-class Jewish family. When she was 18 years old she and he family were deported to Auschwitz in May 1944. Her mother and her little sister Gilike were murdered immediately on arrival. Her father perished a few months later due to the inhuman conditions in the camp. Eva Fahidi was the only member of her family to survive. She was deported from Auschwitz to a sub-camp of Buchenwald concentration camp in Allendorf, Hesse, where she carried out forced labour for 12 hours daily in the explosives factory at Münchmühle concentration camp. In 1945 she escaped during a death march and was liberated from her hiding place by American soldiers.

In Berlin, on hearing of Eva Fahidi’s death, Christoph Heubner, Executive Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee, paid tribute as follows:

"After her liberation many years passed before Eva Fahidi started talking about her memories of her murdered family and her existence as a slave labourer. Her life was permanently shaped by the loss of her family. Nevertheless, thanks to her incredibly strong and generous heart, she never lost her zest for life or her trust in the power of memories. Eva Fahidi was a miracle. She shared her memories and fears with people throughout the world as a witness of the times, telling about her experiences and sufferings, as an author and at an advanced age as a dancer. She expressed these memories by dancing in an exchange with a young colleague on numerous stages in Europe. Eva Fahidi’s books, which demonstrate her talents as a great stylist and clear-sighted narrator, will remain alongside her fears and warnings in face of populist incitements and far-right violence against Jewish people, Sinti and Roma, not only in her native country of Hungary, but also in many European countries. Since 1990 Eva Fahidi often came to Germany to talk, not only with young people. People listened spellbound when she spoke. She was loved and honoured. In 2020 she became an honorary citizen of Weimar, and was also awarded Germany’s Federal Cross of Merit. The survivors of Auschwitz are filled with admiration and affection as they say thank you to an outstanding woman who, throughout her life, resolutely confronted the killing machinery of Auschwitz with her memories, her creativity and her inspiring love of life."


For further Information

Christoph Heubner

Executive Vice President
International Auschwitz Committee
Phone ++ 49 (0)30 26 39 26 81